Intervention by Mr. Md. Rafiqul Alam Molla, Counsellor of Bangladesh at the 6th substantive session of the Open-Ended Working Group on security of and in the use of information and communications technologies 2021-2025 (OEWG), Capacity Building Section at CR-1, UNHQs,14 December 2023

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Bangladesh believes that capacity building is at the core of the success of this group. As you mentioned, Chair, in your opening remarks of this session, we are only as strong as our weakest link. There is a resounding call that the developing countries are in critical need of robust capacity building to develop the knowledge, skills, and resources necessary to effectively implement responsible state behavior in the use of ICTs.

We acknowledge the ongoing efforts of the Secretariat as it undertakes a mapping exercise to survey the landscape of capacity-building programs and initiatives within and outside the United Nations, as well as those at the global and regional levels.

Building on the ongoing mapping exercise, we believe that a comprehensive capacity assessment, including the National Survey of Implementation of the United Nations Recommendations on the Responsible Use of ICTs by States in the context of international security, is equally important. Offering a comprehensive and global array of both capacity assessment tools and capacity-building programs would be an important first step towards the concrete and tangible implementation of national capacity-building initiatives.

Mr. Chair,

Capacity building requirements vary from country to country, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Therefore, my delegation highlights the importance of needs-based approach for capacity building. The pivotal question then becomes: How do we effectively assess the specific needs of countries for capacity building and what are the available programmes we have?

In order to answer these questions, we propose exploring the possibility of creating a comprehensive matrix encompassing capacity building needs, possible capacity building programmes to meet those needs, and a list of existing capacity building programmes initiatives. This dynamic matrix should be updated regularly to incorporate new programmes and needs as they emaerge.

In our view, it would facilitate a nuanced understanding of diverse capacity-building needs, enable self-assessment against industry benchmarks, and offer a thoughtfully curated selection of existing capacity building programmes customized to meet the specific requirements of each Member State.

The matrix could also function as a comprehensive inventory of capacity-building programs, potentially shedding light on areas where support is lacking or needed. Global Cyber Security Cooperation Portal, as presented by India could be the possible host of such matrix. We thank India for their comprehensive presentation on this portal and we support the establishing the portal.

The roundtable discussion on capacity building scheduled for next May could provide a valuable opportunity to delve deeper into this matter.

Mr. Chair,

We believe that for a capacity-building program to be successful, it is imperative to involve the industry. Without enhanced collaboration between states and industry, we may not be able to achieve the desired results that we all aspire to attain.

Finally, A gender-sensitive approach to capacity building is critical. We 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.