Statement by Mr. Md. Rafiqul Alam Molla, Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to the United Nations in New York at the intersessional session of the Open-Ended Working Group on security of and in the use of information and communications technologies 2021-2025 (OEWG), CR-2, 24 May 2023

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Bangladesh believes Capacity building is of paramount importance in the work of the OEWG. Developing countries are in critical need for support in order to developing the knowledge, skills, and resources necessary to effectively implement the responsible state behavior in cyberspace.

We would like to highlight the need for capacity building in the following areas:

First, the rapid advancement of AI and emerging technologies has the potential to widen the technological divide, exacerbating existing inequalities and impeding international development. Therefore, it is imperative for the Group to prioritize efforts aimed at enhancing access to these technologies and improving digital infrastructure.

Second, we need to address the Skill Gap as a matter of priority, which requires collective action. Building programs should be prioritized to enhance digital literacy, technical skills, and knowledge related to AI and other emerging technology among individuals and communities. Training initiatives, educational programs, and partnerships between academia, industry, and governments can help close the skills gap.

Furthermore, Collaboration and knowledge exchange platforms should be established to facilitate the sharing of best practices, research findings, and technological insights. This can empower countries and communities to learn from each other and adapt relevant approaches to their local contexts.

Common understanding on applicability of international law and the UN charter is also required as part of the Capacity building.

Third, we highlight the importance of needs-based partnerships for capacity building. The group may consider establishing a mechanism under the OEWG to provide technical and financial assistance to developing countries as a means of capacity building. We propose that the funding for this mechanism be sourced from international development assistance and multilateral development banks. In this regard, we underscore the importance of considering the varying levels of cybersecurity preparedness in different countries.

Forth, we call for enhanced collaboration between governments and industry under the work of the OEWG for capacity building. The group should explore the ways how to utilize private sector expertise to identify risks posed by emerging technologies and to effectively respond to cyberthreats.

Finally, A gender-sensitive approach to capacity building should consider the gender impacts and implications of cyber threats and address the needs, priorities, and capacities of women and girls. Additionally, it is crucial for states to actively engage with youth activists and young professionals in the field of ICTs, as they are driving innovation and making remarkable contributions to the field of technology.

I thank you.