At UN, Pakistan urges legal instrument to combat cyber threats to world peace


UNITED NATIONS, May 26 : A legally-binding instrument that addresses the interests of all states would be the best option to deal with increasing cyber threats to international peace and security, Pakistan has told a UN Security Council’s “Arria-Formula” meeting.

“Cyber attacks are taking place with an increased intensity across the entire spectrum of our social, economic and political domains, with devastating impact on critical infrastructure and societies,” Ambassador Aamir Khan, deputy permanent representative of Pakistan to the UN, said on Thursday.

Against this backdrop, he said, ensuring the peaceful use of ICTs (information and communication technologies) and preventing cyber warfare was a critical challenge.

Albania and the United States convened the 15-member Council meeting on ‘Responsibility and Responsiveness of States to Cyber attacks on Critical Infrastructure’ under the format of the Arria formula, which is named after a former Venezuelan UN ambassador, Diego Arria. It is a very informal consultation process that affords the Council the opportunity to hear persons in a confidential, informal setting.

In his remarks, Ambassador Aamir Khan said that the Security Council would not be able to pronounce on the problems posed by the cyber attacks as it “currently suffers from a paralysis”.

“It would therefore be salient to suggest that only a legally binding instrument tailored exclusively to address the specific conditions that address the interests of all states would be the best way forward,” he added.

At the same time, the Pakistani envoy said capacity-building was needed to enable member states to respond effectively to cyberspace challenges.

“We call upon the international community, especially the developed world, to provide fair, equitable and unconditional technical assistance, capacity-building support, and technology transfers to assist States, especially those with limited resources, in strengthening their cybersecurity infrastructure.”