The cumulative reports of the 2010 (A/65/201), 2013 (A/68/98) and 2015 (A/70/174) UN Group of Government Experts on Developments in the Field of Information and Communication Technologies in the Context of International Security (GGE) consolidated a framework of responsible state behaviour, comprising the following four themes:

  • International law
  • Norms, rules, and principles for the responsible behaviour of States
  • Confidence building measures
  • Capacity-building

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) considered and endorsed – by consensus – the 2010, 2013 and 2015 GGE reports (A/RES/65/41; A/RES/68/243; A/RES/70/237). Of particular relevance:

  • the 2015 UNGA Resolution endorsing the 2015 GGE report “call[ed] upon Member States: to be guided in their use of information and communications technologies by the 2015 report of the Group of Governmental Experts” (A/RES/70/237 at [2(a)); and
  • the 2015 GGE report recommended Member States give active consideration to the reports and assess how they might take up these recommendations for further development and implementation. (A/70/74 at [36])

In 2021, the UN Open Ended Working Group on development in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security (OEWG) (A/75/816), as endorsed by consensus by the General Assembly (75/564), built upon and reaffirmed the framework of responsible state behaviour. Of relevance the OEWG report recommended:

  • “States, on a voluntary basis, continue to inform the Secretary-General of their views and assessments on Developments in the field of ICTs in the context of international security…”; (A/75/816 at [64]) and
  • “States, on a voluntary basis, use the model “National Survey of Implementation of United Nations General Assembly Resolution 70/237” (to be made available online) to help them do so. Member States may also wish to use the model survey, on a voluntary basis, to structure their abovementioned submissions informing the Secretary-General of their views and assessments” (A/75/816 at [65]).

Also, in 2021, the Group of Governmental Experts on Advancing responsible State behaviour in cyberspace in the context of international security (GGE) issued a consensual report (A/76/135) in July 2021. Of particular relevance, the GGE report encouraged the States to:

  • “compile and streamline the information they present on the implementation of the norms, including by voluntarily surveying their national efforts and sharing their experiences”; (A/76/135 at [21])
  • “continue sharing their national views [on the subject of how international law applies to the use of ICTs by States] and assessments voluntarily through the United Nations Secretary-General and other avenues as appropriate”; (A/76/135 at [73])
  • “to use the voluntary Survey of National Implementation recommended by the United Nations OEWG”; [A/76/135 at [89(h)]
  • And reminded that States could make use of “voluntary reporting to the Secretary-General, the Cyber Policy Portal of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) […] to consolidate information and good practices provided voluntarily by States on national strategies, policies, legislation and programmes that address ICT security issues relevant to international security and stability”; (A/76/135 at [86])