Continuing CHAPTER V Related issues and approaches


Developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security

With the rapidly growing dependence of society on information and communication technologies (ICT), concerns have been raised that these technologies could potentially be used for purposes that are inconsistent with the objectives of maintaining international stability and security and may adversely affect the integrity of the infrastructure of States to the detriment of their security in both civil and military sectors.
Since 1998, the General Assembly has been considering a new item entitled "Developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security" and adopted a resolution on the topic annually. These resolutions1 called upon Member States to further promote the multilateral consideration of existing and potential threats in the information security field, as well as possible measures to limit emerging threats, consistent with the need to preserve the free flow of information. They also invited all Member States to inform the Secretary-General of their views and assessments on the following questions:
(i) General appreciation of the issues of information security;
(ii) Definition of basic notions related to information security, that would include unauthorized interference with or misuse of information and telecommunications systems and information resources; and
(iii) Relevant international concepts aimed at strengthening the security of global information and telecommunications systems.
In response to these requests, a number of Member States submitted their views and assessments on information security issues to the Secretary-General who subsequently submitted them to the Assembly.2
In 2004, in accordance with resolution 58/32, the Secretary-General established a group of governmental experts to carry out a study on the issue. The Group held its first session in New York from 12-16 July, at which it held a general exchange of views on the subject and developed an outline of its report. (For membership and other information about the Group, see chapter VII of this volume). The Group will hold two more sessions in 2005 to complete its work.

General Assembly, 2004

59/61. Developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security
The draft resolution was introduced by the Russian Federation, on behalf of the sponsors (see page 2 for the sponsors) on 22 October. It was adopted without a vote by the First Committee on 27 October and by the General Assembly on 3 December. For the text of the resolution see page 6.
The resolution invited all Member States to continue to inform the Secretary-General of their views and assessments on the following questions: (a) general appreciation of the issues of information security; (b) definition of basic notions related to information security, including unauthorized interference with or misuse of information and telecommunications systems and information resources; and (c) the content of relevant international concepts aimed at strengthening the security of global information and telecommunications systems. It noted with satisfaction that the group of governmental experts established by the Secretary-General held its first session from 12 to 16 July 2004, in New York and that it intended to convene two more sessions in 2005 to fulfill its mandate specified in resolution 58/32 of 8 December 2003.
59/62. Role of science and technology in the context of international security and disarmament
The draft resolution was introduced by India, on behalf of the sponsors (see page 2 for the sponsors) on 22 October. It was adopted by the First Committee on 27 October (101-49-17) and by the General Assembly on 3 December (106-48-21). For the text of the resolution and the voting see pages 8.
The resolution invited Member States to undertake additional efforts to apply science and technology for disarmament-related purposes and to make disarmament-related technologies available to interested States. It also urged Member States to undertake multilateral negotiations with the participation of all interested States in order to establish universally acceptable, non-discriminatory guidelines for international transfers of dual-use goods and technologies and high technology with military applications.

1General Assembly resolutions 53/70 (4 December 1998), 54/49 (1 December 1999), 55/28 (20 November 2000), 56/19 (29 November 2001), 57/53 (22 November 2002), 58/32 (8 December 2003) and 59/61 (3 December 2004). Available from http://www.un.org/Depts/dhl/resguide/gares1.htm
2A/54/213, A/55/140 and Corr.1 and Add.1, A/56/164 and Add.1, A/57/166 and Add.1, A/58/373, and A/59/116 and Add.1.