First Committee of the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly
Thematic Debate on Other Disarmament Measures and International Security
Statement by H.E. Ham Sang-wook, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations
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The development of information and communication technologies (ICTs) has integrated the virtual and physical space surrounding us. Combined with developments such as artificial intelligence and digital interference capabilities, state and non-state behavior in cyberspace has further complicated the international security landscape.
In this regard, my delegation believes that it is essential to promote an open, secure, stable, accessible and peaceful cyberspace. The Republic of Korea welcomes the launch of the Open-ended Working Group (OEWG) and the re-establishment of Group of Governmental Experts (GGEs) in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the context of International Security this year.
In order to make two processes productive and successful, it is desirable that their works must be complimentary and cooperative based on what we have achieved. In this vein, I would like to highlight three aspects:
First, it is time to focus on implementation of what has been agreed upon on the basis of consensus in the past GGEs. Indeed, the General Assembly consensus resolutions in 2015 and 2016 called on all countries “to be guided in their use of ICTs” by the GGE reports. The Republic of Korea believes that the OEWG can serve as an opportunity to build common understanding and provide practical guidance on implementation of agreed rules and norms.
Secondly, it is crucial to develop and implement practical confidence building measures (CBMs). The journey to reaching a consensus on rules and norms took over the two-decades and there are still some issues remained to address. In this context, the Republic of Korea believes that the CBMs can limit the risk of conflict deriving from misunderstanding or miscalculation. Indeed, we should continue to develop and implement CBMs to step forward to the peace and stability of cyberspace.
Last but not least, confidence-building must be followed by capacity building. Malicious actors tend to target developing countries as transit routes for attacks within the global cyber ecosystem. It is crucial that States develop their own defense and resilience capability in cyberspace and support each other to jointly respond to cyber threats. As one of the leading countries in ICTs, the Republic of Korea will continue to actively participate in the efforts to bridge the gap in cyber capacity.
To conclude, the Republic of Korea would like to reaffirm its will to contribute to the international community’s efforts to make a secure and peaceful cyberspace such as including the deliberations at the GGE and the OEWG.