Background

The Committee considered in an integrated discussion the remaining three technological frontier issues to be considered by CEB: cyberspace, biotechnology and the impact of new technologies on peace and security. The Chair noted that the three topics, though distinct, were closely interlinked, both among themselves and with artificial intelligence. The intent was to provide inputs and recommendations to CEB on entry points for United Nations engagement that would ensure that frontier technologies developed in a way that benefitted humanity, were anchored by universal norms and standards and supported sustainable development and peace.

Discussion

A draft discussion papers on cyberspace, biotechnology/converging biotechnologies and the peace and security implications of emerging technologies was introduced.

It was observed that governance of cyberspace — a patchwork of formal and informal institutions and norms composed of intersecting and overlapping technical standards, contracts, laws and intergovernmental decisions — was at a critical juncture. It was further argued that the United Nations was uniquely positioned to help States and other stakeholders to navigate the current transition peacefully an d constructively, through “cyberprevention” that ensured that cybergovernance contributed to international peace and security and sustainable development and took appropriate precautions to preserve the potential benefits of cyberspace and prevent any harm to the rights and interests of people or States. Three recommended steps towards fostering this approach were: (a) Drafting United Nations system-wide common core principles on cyberprevention; (b) Preparing a study on operational aspects of cyberprevention to garner support for United Nations action within existing mandates, in particular: (i) Application of existing peacekeeping, mediation and good offices techniques to the cyber era; (ii) Provision of support to States to protect their critical infrastructure; (iii) Engagement with the emerging global cyberinsurance industry; (c) Considering how to strengthen the Internet Governance Forum as a venue for longer-term multi-stakeholder discussion of cyber-prevention issues.

 

Action

The draft discussion papers on cyberspace, biotechnology and the peace and security implications of emerging technologies will be finalized on the basis of the Committee’s deliberations and submitted to CEB as inputs to its forthcoming session and for further guidance.