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Statement on cybersecurity

Statement by Representative of Slovenia to the UN Security Council Ambassador Samuel Žbogar at an open debate titled “Maintenance of International Peace and Security: Addressing Evolving Threats in Cyberspace”

Thank you very much, Your Excellency, Mr. President.

I extend my thanks to the Republic of Korea for organizing today’s debate.

I would also like to thank the Secretary-General for his briefing, and I would like to thank our briefers today for their insights and recommendations.

Mr. President,

Allow me to address two points pertinent to the topic of today’s debate.

First, on evolving threats in cyberspace.

It is our view that having an accurate understanding of the ever-evolving cyber threat landscape, particularly in the context of the rapid growth of emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, is paramount for discussing the cooperative measures the international community can take in response to malicious cyber activities.

In this regard, we commend the ongoing work of the dedicated Open-ended Working Group established by the General Assembly, but also recognize the complementary potential for enhanced consideration by the Council. For instance, by addressing the findings of the Secretary-General’s report on cyber threats.

Malicious cyber activities, such as ransomware attacks and those targeting civilian critical infrastructure, particularly when transboundary in nature, can pose new challenges and exacerbate existing threats to international peace and security. 

This brings me to my second point: addressing the evolving threats in cyberspace.

The Council bears the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.

To fulfil its responsibility in accordance with its mandate, the Council should therefore play a decisive role in de-escalating tensions and promoting accountability when malicious cyber activities threaten international peace and security.

In our view, activities that support terrorism or the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, or exacerbate existing conflicts or target critical civilian infrastructure, pose such a threat, thereby necessitating the Council’s response.

In the same vein, the Council should address malicious cyber activities, such as disinformation campaigns, that incite violence against civilian population, cause humanitarian suffering, or disrupt the work of humanitarian organizations, peacekeeping and peacebuilding operations.

Mr. President,

In an era marked by the growing digitalization of conflicts, it is crucial to emphasize the applicability of international law, including international humanitarian law and international human rights law, which must be respected.

Allow me to conclude by assuring you of our commitment to collaborate with Council members and the broader UN membership in continuing discussions on cyber threats to international peace and security.

We also remain steadfast in our commitment to implement measures aimed at mitigating these risks, including by implementing the existing norms of responsible state behavior in cyberspace.

Thank you.

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