UK Tables General Assembly Resolution to Resolve OEWG Modalities Impasse

Disagreements on organizational matters and participation of members of the multistakeholder community in the OEWG risk continuing to hamper substantive progress. To allow the Third Session of the OEWG to take place in a formal format with stakeholder participation, the UK has tabled a General Assembly resolution addressing the narrow and specific issue of unresolved modalities for stakeholder participation in the OEWG. Reverting to a group’s parent body - in this case the General Assembly - for a decision on how to proceed is possible where a consensus process cannot reach agreement on technical issues such as modalities.

The UK argues that if no negotiated solution can be found, a swift decision from the GA will avoid further undermining the important confidence building efforts of the OEWG, ensure provision of crucial capacity building support to developing countries is not delayed, and allow the group to get back to the business of advancing responsible state behaviour in cyberspace. This approach also protects the consensus nature of the OEWG, which would continue to operate by consensus on all other issues to ensure inclusive decision making and promote the widest possible implementation of its work. The resolution is now available on UN e-delegates.