74 UNGA: Cuba on International law applicable to use of ICTS. 2nd substantive session of the open-ended Working group of the UNGA on developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of intl security. New York, 11 Feb, 2020

Statement by Cuba on International law applicable to the use of ICTS. Second substantive session of the open-ended Working group of the UNGA on developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security. New York, 11 February 2020.

Mr. President,

We agree on the applicability of the principles of international law and the Charter of the United Nations to cyberspace, particularly the principles of sovereignty, sovereign equality, territorial integrity, non-interference in the internal affairs of States, self-restraint from the use of force against the territorial integrity and political independence of States and the settlement of international conflicts through peaceful means.

However, we believe that we must prevent cyberspace from becoming a theatre of military operations.

In that context, we express our concern over attempts to legitimize punitive actions of force or to impose unilateral measures or sanctions, by States claiming to be victims of illicit uses of ICTs.

There is no consensus on establishing equivalence between the malicious use of ICTs and the concept of armed aggression, as provided for in Article 51 of the Charter. It is not acceptable to attempt to justify the alleged applicability of the right to the use of force and self-defense in that context. We hope that the difference of opinions on this issue will be adequately incorporated in the final report.

On the other hand, the invocation of the alleged applicability of the principles of International Humanitarian Law in the context of illegal uses of ICTs, would create conditions conducive to trying to justify cyberwar and even military interventions and other acts of force against other States.

Setting this reinterpretation of the norms of International Law and the Charter of the United Nations as a precedent is an attack on the collective security architecture and the maintenance of international peace.

We would appreciate it if these concerns were also reflected in the final report.

All human rights for all must be promoted and respected in cyberspace as well.

We believe that it is necessary to adopt a legally binding international instrument that will make it possible to address effectively the significant legal gaps existing today in the context of cybersecurity.

This situation calls for the implementation of specific regulations complementary to international law aimed, among others, at the following equally important elements.

1) Prevent the application of unilateral measures and measures against States that hinder universal access to the benefits offered by ICTs;

2) Establish a multilateral framework to peacefully address, through consultation and cooperation, international disputes over the illicit use of ICTs, particularly, the issue of attribution and countermeasures;

3) Avoid militarizing cyberspace;

4) Protect citizens' private data more effectively;

5) Complement legislations on cyberterrorism to cope with cybersecurity incidents and issues, such as cyberattacks;

6) Clearly define what is understood by a cyberattacks.

7) Operationalize the application, with greater objectivity, of the principles of international law.

Thank you very much.