Madam President,  

I would like to thank the Republic of Korea for organizing this important debate. I would also like to thank the speakers, Mr Adedeji Ebo, Mr Robin Geiss, and Ms Valeria Kennedy, from Chainalysis Inc, for their detailed contributions. The diplomats in this room have a lot to learn from you.

Recent years have seen some worrying developments in cyberspace. We have already discussed the challenges of cybersecurity within this Council last May. It is also important to address the specific dimension that the speakers have just described, in which states threaten international peace and security by resorting to means of cybercriminals. This threat affects us in many ways. Money, such as cryptocurrencies, and data are stolen or extorted, and critical infrastructures such as energy supplies and healthcare systems are paralyzed. This threat also affects us when funds obtained in this way are used for purposes that violate international law and the resolutions of this Council.

International law applies in cyberspace. It applies to all States and also includes existing obligations of due diligence. These require states to take reasonable and necessary measures to prevent the activities of non-state actors on their territory that violate the rights of other States.

It is also clear that the sanctions measures decided by this Council must be fully implemented in all areas, including cyberspace.

As an international community, we are not powerless in the face of this malicious behavior. The Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF) has set international standards to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism and proliferation. It is up to governments to implement these recommendations. But in an area as interconnected as cyberspace, the private sector also has an important preventive role to play. The Geneva Manual - managed by the DiploFoundation - provides guidance on how standards of responsible behavior in cyberspace can be implemented by non-state actors.

The implementation of the "UN norms of responsible State behavior in cyberspace" is a key element in identifying and addressing existing and emerging threats to peace and security. I would also like to emphasize the importance of the work of the "Open-ended Working Group on Developments in the Field of Information and Telecommunications" and the development of the "Programme of Action to advance responsible State behavior in the use of ICTs in the context of international security ", which will pave the way for future action in this area. The Security Council – and this was mentioned - also has a role to play. It can send out a strong signal by promoting respect for international law and the norms of responsible State behavior in cyberspace, and by taking account of the realities and threats in cyberspace in its work - for example with regard to sanctions. The 1718 Committee's panel of experts on DPRK is a good example of how important information can be gathered and analyzed on malicious activities in cyberspace in violation of sanctions. It is therefore all the more regrettable that its mandate was not extended last week because of a veto.

Madam President,

Despite the risks, new technologies and cyberspace also represent opportunities to meet the challenges of tomorrow. In his New Agenda for Peace, the Secretary-General encourages us to find new ways of protecting ourselves against these new threats. In addition, the negotiations on the Pact for the Future offer us the opportunity to develop a common understanding, notably in the area of cybersecurity, to strengthen trust and to make progress towards a lasting peace.

I thank you.