Background

At its twentieth session, the Committee discussed the risks and impact of cybercrime and cybersecurity on the United Nations system and addressed the policy and technology dimensions of those issues. At its twenty-second session, the Committee agreed to set up the United Nations Group on Cybercrime and Cybersecurity to address programme and policy aspects of those issues and foster coordination and collaboration within the United Nations. The Group would complement the activities of the Information and Communications Technology Network. The Committee requested the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), in collaboration with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), to further refine the Group’s terms of reference, and agreed to revert to the issue at its twenty-fourth session.

Sandeep Chawla, Deputy Executive Director of UNODC, and Gary Fowlie, ITU Representative to the United Nations, briefed the Committee on the status of the work of the United Nations Group on Cybercrime and Cybersecurity.

Discussion

In the ensuing discussion, participants highlighted the need for the Committee to continue to be seized with this issue on behalf of CEB and in the absence of a normative intergovernmental framework on cybersecurity. The confluence between gender and cybercrime was also highlighted, particularly in relation to the protection of the rights of women and girls in the realm of information and communication technology. Members expressed concern about the use of such technology for human trafficking and the proliferation of pictures and images of women and girls without their consent.

In addition, participants highlighted the need to limit the focus of the policy, taking into account that the Committee was not a policymaking body but could advise CEB to address a specific set of issues. The Group was requested to continue to be focus-driven and more attentive to what CEB had asked the Committee to consider. The Group was called upon to keep in mind the complexity of the issues, which were also of concern to Member States, particularly given the lack of an intergovernmental framework governing cybersecurity.

Action

The Committee took note of the briefing by UNODC and ITU and thanked them for their leadership. The Committee looked forward to reviewing the draft United Nations-wide policy at its twenty-fifth session in the first half of 2013.