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UN ramps up internet resolutions

The UN General Assembly (UNGA) has passed a record number of resolutions relevant for internet policy at its latest session, notes the Association for Progressive Communications (APC). “While internet-related issues have been increasingly on UNGA’s agenda, the 73rd session was significant for a few reasons. First, the sheer number of resolutions that substantively addressed internet issues was high (at least 10) on a broad range of issues including security (2), sustainable development (2), human rights (2), and crime (1). Second, this session created three forward-looking processes which promise to keep cybersecurity and cybercrime on UNGA’s agenda; and third, geopolitical dynamics at UNGA meant that for some issues, compromise was out of reach and votes were called on issues where delicate consensus was previously achieved.” These dynamics led to mixed outcomes.

Generally speaking, the human rights-related resolutions led to positive developments contributing to norms to safeguard privacy in the face of new threats, combat sexual harassment, and protect peaceful assembly and association, both online and offline. Two resolutions related to sustainable development, adopted by UNGA's Second Committee, largely renewed and reinforced the need to harness ICTs for sustainable development and consider the impact of rapid technological change on the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. The resolutions concerning cybersecurity and cybercrime were more contentious, all going to a vote and creating new work streams, competing if not for what they aim to achieve then at least for resources and the attention of states. Read more

  • Wednesday, 23 January 2019

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