von Eleonore Pauwels
This paper aims to analyse the 2021 achievements of the UN Groups in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the Context of International Security – the Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) and the UN Governmental Group of Experts (GGE). Both have concluded their current missions in March and May 2021, respectively, and published their final reports.

Section 1 provides a comparative analysis of the principal discussion results, challenges faced and progress made by the OEWG and the Sixth GGE. It sheds light on salient tensions and dynamics between member states in the GGE and the OEWG, as well as, in the latter, important and consequential interactions with civil society and the private sector. It also investigates to what extent complementarity between both groups has been achieved.

Section 2 provides a unique assessment of the evolving cyberthreats landscape, including a comparison of how those threats are framed by both UN Groups. It also highlights the rising trends that have been framed as upcoming matters of concern by the 2021 OEWG and the Sixth GGE reports. These concerns still need to be addressed in-depth if the UN aims to stay relevant as a catalyst for normative leadership and governance with the goal to preserve peace and security in cyberspace.

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