Briefing Note on Cybersecurity and UNDP’s Take

Briefing Note on Cybersecurity and Cybercrime


At its 17-18 October 2013 meeting, the CEB endorsed the paper “Towards a UN-wide framework on Cybersecurity and Cybercrime.” The CEB agreed to form a Steering Group on Cybersecurity and Cybercrime consisting of the Executive Heads of UNDP, UNESCO, UNODC, UNEP, ITU and the Chairs of HLCP and HLCM.

A support group of Subject Matter Experts for the Steering Group was also formed with Paul Raines, BOM, and Raul Zambrano, BPPS, representing UNDP. The paper produced by the working group was reviewed and modified by the HLCM and HLCP to present the current paper, “UN System Internal Coordination Plan on Cybersecurity and Cybercrime.”

The CEB discussion will focus on the following five topics which comprise the final paper that should be approved:

1. Ensure effective UN system-wide internal preparation to cope with cyber threats, including policy and resource obstacles that may prevent agencies from acting together to jointly protect the UN system better through, for example, the inclusion of cybersecurity in risk assessment and risk management frameworks.

2. Integrate issues related to cybersecurity and cyber-threat into UN developing programming and the post-2015 development agenda.

3. Ensure internal coherence and coordination of the UN System at the country level and avoid duplication of efforts.

4. Support discussions, upon request, towards a better understanding of the need for cooperation in the field of cybersecurity.

5. Address agency requirements for balancing privacy and confidentiality when conducting their work.

UNDP acknowledges the crucial importance that cybersecurity and combating cybercrime have for developing countries building resilient societies.

As UNDP was the lead organization in drafting the positions on topics 2 and 3 and may be asked to take the lead in the discussion at the meeting.
The CEB is being asked to endorse the paper in its 19-21 November session in Washington, D.C.

Talking Points

  • The Administrator should open her remarks by thanking the experts working group and the members of both HLCM and HLCP for all of the hard work and coordination that went into producing the paper.
  • This paper is an essential first step in addressing the issues of cybersecurity and combating cybercrime, and It shows that the UN System can be a fit-for-purpose organization ready to rapidly solve the new challenges of the digital age.
  • UNDP supports integrating cybersecurity into programme planning since cybersecurity, cybercrime and privacy issues have become global issues that need to be addressed on a worldwide scale and in global forums.
  • Support the integration of cybersecurity into future development programming should include multi-stakeholder engagement and fostering issue-based coalitions as instruments to forge partnerships, beef-up capacities and identify resources.

These topics are also very pertinent to the United Nations system given its mandate to promote peace and security, human rights and development. In this light, the UN can help to:

1. Raise awareness on the relevance of the issue to policy and decision makers at a high-level meeting, including UN gatherings

2. Facilitate the development of local networks of experts to provide technical expertise and advice on the issues based on local contexts and needs, on a demand-driven basis

3. Create communities of practice on cybersecurity and development, as well as the sharing of comparative case studies and compilations of successes and failures.

This is also directly related to the Connect 2020 resolution which supports the Busan Declaration and shares its values and visions. In particular, Goal 3 of that resolution called to “manage challenges resulting from the telecommunication/ICT development” and called for cybersecurity readiness to be improved by 40% by 2020.

Topic 3 advocates the best way for the UN System to achieve this objective. Accordingly, UNDP promotes internal coherence and coordination within the UN System at the country level for mainstreaming cybersecurity into development programming and avoiding any duplication of efforts. To reach this goal, UNDP supports:

1. Having the HLCM and HLCP, in consultation with existing mechanisms such as the United Nations Group on the Information Society (UNGIS) to appoint a lead agency or agencies to coordinate this effort on a rotating basis

2. Having the High-Level Committees promote cybersecurity programming with the support of a small technical team that could advise on relevant policies and processes within the UN system.

These simple measures should ensure that the UN system achieves its goals on cybersecurity and combating cybercrime in a timely and cost-efficient manner.

All in all, UNDP endorses the paper and its associated action plan.

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2 Responses to “Briefing Note on Cybersecurity and UNDP’s Take”

  1. Raul Zambrano Avatar

    The paper was approved by the CEB on 19 November!

  2. Raul Zambrano Avatar

    The paper was approved by the CEB on 19 November!