73 UNGA: Statement by Cuba. First substantive session. Open-ended working group of UNGA on developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security. New York, 9 September 2019.

Mr. President:

Cuba fully endorses the statement made by Indonesia on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.

We welcome the celebration of this first substantive session of the Open-Ended Working Group of the General Assembly on developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security.

Mr. President:

The misuse of information and communication technologies (ICTs) is a matter of deep concern for the international community. We cannot ignore the fact that the growing development of cyber-offensive capabilities and operations can turn cyberspace into a new conflict scenario.

It is very serious that the United States Government would authorize the use of offensive cyber weapons and cyber-offensive operations, including the possibility of launching preventive cyber-attacks to deter its adversaries, with the publication of the Department of Defense Cyber Strategy in September 2018.

We reject these aggressive doctrines, which consider the use of force as a legitimate response to a cyber-attack. It is unacceptable that a state, without any evidence whatsoever, determines a potential source of threats derived from the use of ICTs and undertakes a punitive attack.

We must reject this warmongering and threatening philosophy, as well as the attempts to turn cyberspace into a theatre of military operations and to legitimize, in that context, unilateral acts of force by States that deliberately claim to be victims of unverified illicit uses of information and communication technologies.

In like manner, we oppose unilateral measures that prevent universal access to the benefits offered by Information and Communication Technologies, particularly, the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the government of the United States against Cuba.

Mr. President:

We condemn the covert and illegal use by individuals, organizations and States of other nations' computer systems to attack third countries.

We reject the hostile use of telecommunications for the declared or covert purpose of subverting the legal and political systems of States, which constitutes a violation of the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and International Law.

By means of illegal radio and television broadcasts, the Cuban radio electric space has been permanently attacked from outside, by broadcasting programs specially designed to instigate the overthrow of the constitutional order established by the Cuban people.

On average, during 2019, 1865 weekly hours of subversive programming were illegally broadcast against Cuba over 21 frequencies from the territory of the United States, in contravention of the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter, the International Law and the provisions of the International Telecommunication Union.

We call, once again, for an immediate end to these policies which are aggressive and detrimental to Cuba's sovereignty, which are in addition, inconsistent with the development of bonds of respect and cooperation among States.

Mr. President:

Information and communication technologies must be used in a peaceful manner, for the common good of humanity and to promote the sustainable development of all countries.

The militarization of cyberspace and the covert and illegal use of computer systems to attack other States, as well as the proliferation of cybercrime and cyberterrorism, confirm that additional efforts are needed to promote an open, secure, stable and peaceful cyberspace from which all Member States can benefit, including effective and urgent measures, within the framework of international cooperation, to counter existing threats by peaceful means.

The United Nations should assume a pivotal role and establish itself as a permanent forum for dialogue, consultation and cooperation among Member States, including the building and promotion of capacities and the technical assistance to developing countries in the field of ICT security. A focal point should be established within the United Nations for the exchange of information on cyber incidents among States.

We hope that this Group, in accordance with the mandate conferred, by consensus and as a result of an open, democratic, transparent, inclusive and fundamentally, intergovernmental process, will agree on rules, norms and principles for the responsible behavior of States in the field of information, the establishment of effective institutional arrangements to address this problem within the United Nations; and be able to reach a common international understanding of the current and potential threats in the field of information security and the possible cooperation measures to address them; the way in which international law is applied in the use of information and communication technologies by States; as well as the confidence-building measures and capacity-building.

We believe that this intergovernmental process could contribute to the adoption of a legally binding international instrument which may allow the significant legal gaps existing today within the context of cybersecurity, to be effectively addressed.

We reiterate that the use of the new information and telecommunications technologies must be fully consistent with the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter and International Law, specially, the principles of sovereign equality; the peaceful settlement of international disputes; abstention from resorting to the threat or the use of force, in international relations, against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State; and the non-intervention in the internal affairs of other States.

Thank you