Statement by H. E. Mr. Md Muhammad Abdul Muhith, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations at the Security Council Open Debate on “Maintenance of International Peace and Security: Addressing Evolving Threats in Cyberspace” on 20 June 2024 at Security Council Chamber, UNHQs

Mr. President,

 I thank the Republic of Korea, the current President of the Council, for convening this important open debate. I also thank the briefers for their insightful presentations.

In the evolving digital landscape, cyber threats have become pervasive and often imminent, disrupting global financial, democratic, socio-cultural, and security structures. The 2024 Global Risks Report underscores cyber threats as one of the most serious challenges of our time, estimating potential cybercrime costs of $24 trillion by 2027. Such an astounding figure demands our immediate and urgent action. Let alone the cost in economic terms, the appalling impact of cybercrime on individuals and societies cannot be underestimated.

Mr. President,

To address your guiding questions, I would like to highlight the following points:

First, the proliferation of cyber threats—including ransomware attacks, cyber espionage, and misinformation and disinformation campaigns through deep fakes, among others, – poses significant risks to global peace and stability. These threats target critical infrastructure and undermine democratic processes and societal harmony by spreading xenophobia, intolerance, and stereotypes.

Additionally, advancements in artificial intelligence and quantum computing have magnified the scope and complexity of cyber-threats. With billions relying on digital platforms for daily activities, the urgency to address these threats has reached an unprecedented level.

Second, we firmly believe that, in the face of such grave threats, we are only as strong as our weakest link. Therefore, enhanced international cooperation and coordination are indispensable today. Strengthening cybersecurity measures, fostering information-sharing mechanisms, and investing in capacity-building initiatives are imperative to bolster resilience against cyber threats. In this regard, we emphasize the importance of upholding the principles of sovereign equality and international law in the digital domain. We must find ways to balance freedom of expression with the need to combat the harmful dissemination of misinformation.

Third, in this rapidly evolving cyber landscape, we commend the Open-Ended Working Group on ICT security for facilitating vital international discourse and collaboration. The General Assembly, reflecting the global will and aspirations of the international community, remains the key platform for such critical discussions, enabling all States to actively participate in shaping our collective cyber future. We also hope that the ongoing Global Digital Compact will play a critical role to address this issue, and we advocate for a collaborative approach between the General Assembly and the Security Council in its effective implementation.

Finally, Mr. President,

Turning to the issue – whether or not addressing evolving threats in Cyberspace falls under the purview of this Council, for its being not a part of the traditional concept of security, we believe, owing to the emerging threats to peace and security, cyber security deserves highest attention of the United Nations. What would be the right platform to address this crucial issue needs to be resolved through open and transparent dialogues, rather than making it yet another area of divergence and polarization. In the meantime, we think the Council could play a vital role in fostering confidence-building measures, including through effective information sharing and exchange of views. We must work together, be it under the auspices of this Council or in any other appropriate forum in the UN including the OEWG, to develop norms, standards, and regulations that promote a safe, secure, non-discriminatory, and stable digital environment for all. Bangladesh reaffirms its commitment to collaborating with the global community to address the evolving global cybersecurity threat landscape.

I thank you.