Statement by H.E. Ambassador YAMAZAKI Kazuyuki, Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, at the Security Council High-Level Open Debate on “Maintenance of International Peace and Security: Addressing Evolving Threats in Cyberspace”

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June 20, 2024

Mr. President,

I extend my sincere gratitude to Minister Cho Tae-yul for your leadership in convening this significant and timely open debate, and to Secretary-General (António Guterres) and the distinguished briefers for their invaluable insights.

At the outset, Japan would like to express its commitment to promote a free, fair and secure cyberspace.

In recent years, we have witnessed a concerning trend of a qualitative and quantitative increase in cyber operations used for malicious purposes, including ransomware attacks, disruption of critical infrastructure, interference with democratic elections, and theft of sensitive data.

The alarming rise in cryptocurrency theft also poses a clear and present threat to international peace and security, potentially financing illicit weapons programs.

In particular, it is well known that North Korea is financing its WMD and ballistic missile programmes through malicious cyber operations, and it is of urgent need for the international community to tackle such threats, as the 1718 Committee Panel of Experts reported.

Furthermore, the proliferation of commercial cyber intrusion tools, such as spyware, raises profound concerns about their impact on national security, human rights, and international peace and security.

The stakes have never been higher.

To address these alarming challenges and ensure a free, fair and secure cyberspace, we should uphold the rule of law in cyberspace by advancing concrete discussions on the application of existing international law and implementing agreed norms, rules, and principles of responsible State behavior.

We should also place great importance on sharing information of existing potential threats, sharing best practices, and promoting capacity building efforts.

Through dialogues at all levels, we should aim to foster trust, reduce threats and, most importantly, reduce miscalculations.

Under the UN framework, Japan will continue its constructive engagement in the current Open-ended Working Group (OEWG). Japan also believes the Programme of Action (PoA), as an action-oriented framework, should serve as a future permanent platform to support the implementation of the agreed norms, rules, and principles for responsible State behavior.

At the same time, Japan fully agrees that the Security Council, which bears primary responsibility for the maintenance of peace and security, needs to have a greater and complementary role in the field of cybersecurity.

The Council must closely monitor serious cyber incidents with grave consequences for international peace and security, including those targeting critical infrastructure.

The Council’s regular briefings would be very useful to keep track of the evolving threat landscape in ICT security.

Additionally, the Council needs to address the growing cyber threats to the global arms control and non-proliferation regime, including proliferation risks potentially posed by non-state actors.

In conclusion, Japan reaffirms its unwavering commitment to safeguarding a free, fair, and secure cyberspace.

The Security Council must remain on high alert regarding emerging security risks associated with ICTs.

We look forward to further discussions on the Council’s next steps to effectively address this important topic, based on today’s opportunity being held by Your Excellency’s initiative.

I thank you.


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