Cyber Stability 2018: Preventing and Mitigating Conflict

26 September 2018, Geneva, Switzerland

In an international environment marked by growing strategic as well as rising instability, the increase in malicious cyber activities by State and non-State actors—and the spread of malicious cyber tools and techniques—is a growing concern for governments, the private sector and individuals.

Reports of the United Nations Groups of Governmental Experts (GGEs) on Developments in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the Context of International Security have recommended a number of norms, confidence-building measures and cooperative measures. Together with the assertion that existing international law applies to cyberspace, these recommendations constitute an initial framework for limiting certain destabilizing behaviours, strengthening cooperation and contributing to greater international peace and stability. At its seventieth session, the UN General Assembly called on States to be guided in their use of ICTs by the 2015 report.

In May, the UN Secretary-General launched his Agenda for Disarmament, ‘Securing Our Common Future’, in which he committed to engaging Member States “to help foster a culture of accountability and adherence to emerging norms, rules and principles on responsible behaviour” and extended his good offices to contribute to the prevention and peaceful settlement of conflict stemming from the malicious use of ICT. He has also convened a High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation to contribute to the broader public debate on digital transformation and how to ensure a safe and inclusive digital future.

Beyond the UN, a number of important initiatives relating directly or indirectly to ICT and international security and stability are emerging from the private sector, academia and civil society.

With these and other developments as a backdrop, this year’s Cyber Stability conference is an opportunity to take stock of the practices of States and other actors, particularly as they relate to the implementation of the 2015 GGE recommendations, and consider how they can be better leveraged to contribute to conflict prevention and mitigation, and by extension, greater international security and stability.

Support from UNIDIR's core funders provides the foundation for all of the Institute's activities.

In addition, dedicated project funding was received from Germany, France and the Russian Federation.

This conference is part of the project Annual Cyber Stability Conference