Open-ended Working Group on developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security (2019-2021)

In December 2018, the General Assembly established two processes to discuss the issue of security in the information and communication technology (ICT)-environment during the period of 2019-2021. Through resolution 73/27, it established an Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG), which will be comprised of the entire UN membership. The Group convened for the first time in 2019 and completed its work in March 2021. The OEWG was chaired by Ambassador Jürg Lauber, of Switzerland.

In November 2020, the General Assembly voted to establish, through resolution A/RES/75/240 a second OEWG, that will commence work in 2021. This second OEWG will report back to the General Assembly in 2025. An organisational session will take place from 1-2 June 2021 to determine future meeting dates, structures, and other modalities.

Click here to subscribe to RCW's Cyber Peace & Security Monitor, providing coverage and analysis from the OEWG.

Click here to visit the (first) OEWG webpage managed by the United Nations.


SCHEDULE (2019-2021 OEWG)

1. Organisational meeting - New York, 3-4 June 2019
2. First substantive session - New York, 9-13 September 2019
3. Intersessional meeting with industry and civil society - New York, 2-4 December 2019
4. Second substantive session - New York, 10-14 February 2020
5. Intersessional informal exchange - New York, 30-31 March 2020 Cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic
6. Intersessional informal exchange - New York, 28-29 May 2020 Cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic
7. Third (and final) substantive session - New York, 6-10 July 2020 Postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic to 8-12 March 2021 

Closed informal meetings (held in virtual format during 2020)
1. Norms, rules, and principles: 15, 17, 19 June 2020 (07:00-10:00 EDT)
2. International law: 29-30 September, 1 October 2020 (08:00-11:00 EDT)
3. Confidence-building measures and capacity building: 17-19 November 2020 (08:00-11:00 EDT)
4. Regular institutional dialogue and general comments: 1-3 December 2020 (08:00-11:00 EDT)


Details on how non-governmental stakeholders can participate in the third and final OEWG session from 8-12 March are forthcoming.

On 25 February 2021, civil society shared views on the zero draft of the OEWG final report through an informal online event and consultation. Civil society stakeholders were also invited to share their views on the zero draft in writing for posting on the OEWG website. 

From 4-10 December 2020, non-governmental stakeholders were invited to participate in a series of informal online dialogue sessions. The six sessions mirrored the six agenda items of the OEWG mandate and there was also one side event, on gender and international cyber security. Visit the dialogue series' website (www.letstalkcyber.org) for video recordings and documents from all sessions. Read the summary report here.

Information about the participation of non-governmental stakeholders in future formal meetings of the OEWG will be shared as available. The new informal meetings are not open to civil society participation or observation.


"Open-ended Working Group on Developments in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the Context of International Security established pursuant to General Assembly resolution 73/27 of 5 December 2018" (A/C.1/75/L.47)

"Developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security" (A/C.1/75/L.8/Rev.1)

"Developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security" (A/C.1/74/L.50/Rev.1)

"Developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security" (A/RES/73/27)

Reaching Critical Will's fact sheet on cyber peace and security

UN Office of Disarmament Affairs fact sheet

UN Office of Disarmament Affairs website

UNIDIR's Cyber Policy Portal