Multi-Stakeholder engagement on cybercrime treaty

Vienna (Austria) - 23 June 2022. Two weeks of fruitful discussions took place in Vienna at the second session of the UN Ad Hoc Committee (AHC) to elaborate on a new convention on cybercrime. From 30 May to 10 June, representatives from governments, civil society and private sector exchanged views on novel ways for engagement and the prospects for multi-stakeholder coordination and engagement on cybercrime.
The UN process working towards a comprehensive international convention on countering the use of information and communications technologies (ICTs) for criminal purposes started last year. The hybrid format of allowed participants from all around the world to contribute to the creation of a global treaty to counter the use of ICTs for criminal purpose.
This was the first meeting focused on the substance of the treaty, with discussions on criminalization, general provisions, and law enforcement. The cybercrime treaty discussions focused on the three main objectives: combating and preventing cybercrimes, promoting international cooperation and technical assistance. Meanwhile, on 13-14 June during the AHC’s consultations with multi-stakeholders, the key discussions cantered on international cooperation, technical assistance, preventive measures, and on the mechanism of implementation.

Voices from civil society and private sector

During the session of the AHC “cybercrime”, the contributions of non-governmental stakeholders were widely recognized. From ensuring accountability to protecting human rights, the role of civil society is crucial in the anti–cybercrime efforts. Carolina Botero Cabrera, the executive director of Fundación Karisma (Global Partners Digital) pointed out that civil society has a strong commitment to find how to increase capacity, learn more about cybercrime and the considered safeguards. In general, civil society want to participate in the process to have their voices heard.

Gerson Nozea, Country Director from the Rapha International Haiti stressed the need to continue to engage with Member States to bring the perspectives of civil society into the forefront of this debate, as they are placed in the unique position to work with victims and assist government officials in all respective States to act on the ground.
Strong interventions by private sector at the second intersessional consultation of the Ad Hoc Committee called for an open and inclusive process for all civil society. The fight against cybercrime cannot be isolated from others. A multi-stakeholder approach can be an answer to many unresolved issues.  The worthwhile and sustained collaboration of governments, the private sector, experts and civil society organisations is the only way to mitigate and control the challenges cybercrime poses to open and secure cyberspace on a national, regional and international level. 
The first draft of a new international convention on countering the use of ICTs could be ready by the end of this year. The discussions will not stop there, lessons will be continuously learnt, and best practices shared among various stakeholders. The next third session of the UN Ad Hoc Committee will take place in New York from 29 August to 9 September 2022. Meanwhile, one of the platforms for further active discussions could be the online knowledge hub WhatsOn, which is created by UNODC and designed to bring together relevant stakeholders in the fight against transnational organized crime and corruption, including non-governmental organizations, academia and private sector.