Issue Brief on “New Programme of Action (POA) for Advancing Responsible State Behaviour in Cyberspace”


As the fourth and last round of discussions of the UNGA “Open-ended Working Group (OEWG)” concluded in December 2020, the member states proposed the establishment of a “Programme of Action (PoA)”[1] for “advancing responsible state behavior in cyberspace.” By ending the existing dual-track mechanisms of the OEWG and Group of Governmental Experts (GGE), the PoA will emerge as a single, inclusive and permanent forum to deliberate on cybersecurity at the United Nations (UN).

France, United Kingdom, European Union and 38 other member states proposed this PoA. As a permanent UN forum, the foremost responsibility of the PoA will be the creation of a comprehensive international framework based on the principles agreed by the member states in the GGE process. The PoA will convene regular working-level meetings on annual basis and review conferences every five years. These meetings will carry out consultations and decision making in six key areas: refinement of the framework; enhance capacity building; develop confidence-building measures (CBMs); improve coordination among the relevant stakeholders; establish cyber norms; and applicability of international law to cyberspace.[2]

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