On the Adoption of a Second Set of Cyber Confidence-Building Measures: Statement to the PC

United States nameplate in the Hofburg Congress Center's Neuer Saal, the location of many OSCE Permanent Council Meetings, Vienna, March 9, 2016. (USOSCE/Colin Peters)

The United States welcomes the adoption of additional cyber confidence-building measures (CBMs) to enhance interstate cooperation, transparency, predictability and stability among participating States. These practical risk-reduction measures build on an earlier set of CBMs adopted in 2013 that were without precedent in the international arena.

The OSCE continues to break ground in the cyber realm. The CBMs just adopted add to our systematic, voluntary exchanges of information, and encourage joint undertakings of activities to address common security challenges. This is particularly important when participating States critical, lifesaving infrastructure, such as power grids, run on networks connected to the Internet. As we witness increasingly sophisticated cyber attacks, that are global in nature and virtually untraceable, CBMs help reduce or eliminate causes of mistrust, fear, and tensions, and reinforce confidence where it exists.

In supporting this decision, the United States will be guided by the firm conviction that information and communication technologies, along with the Internet that connects them, are powerful tools for advancing human rights, especially the freedoms of expression, association, and peaceful assembly.

We also reiterate our firm commitment to the multi-stakeholder approach to Internet governance, that is characterized by transparent, bottom-up, consensus driven processes, in which the legitimate interests of governments, the private sector, civil society, and the technical community are all taken into account.

The United States had the privilege of serving as chair of the Informal Working Group (IWG) tasked with elaborating these CBMs. Reaching consensus on the CBMs required considerable effort by many delegations, and we offer our gratitude to all capital level experts who provided guidance and travelled to support these negotiations. As chair of the IWG, the United States will continue to pursue a dual-focused approach, stressing the implementation of our existing commitments, and pursuing additional measures that seek to increase interstate cooperation and stability. We look forward to advancing the work of this group through our remaining meetings this year.

Thank you, Mr. Chair, and I would be pleased of you would attach this statement to the Journal of the Day.

As delivered by Ambassador Daniel B. Baer to the OSCE Permanent Council, Vienna