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Illustration: Andrea Estefanía for APC

Delivered by Verónica Ferrari, APC Global Policy Advocacy Coordinator

Distinguished Chair, colleagues,

My name is Verónica Ferrari and I work with the Association for Progressive Communications (APC). APC is an international NGO and network of members working at the intersections of technology, human rights and gender equality.

APC welcomes the opportunity to engage in this discussion.

In our intervention, firstly, we reiterate our call for a human-centric approach in the Group’s discussions, since it is people who are impacted by cyber threats.

This approach means recognising that existing and emerging cyber threats impact differently on groups subject to intersecting forms of discrimination, including women and people of diverse sexualities and gender expressions.

This leads me to my next point connected with an issue that we believe requires attention from the Group: the gender dimensions of international cybersecurity.

It is great to see more states calling attention to gender considerations this week. Building on the previous work, we encourage the Group now to mainstream gender considerations across the OEWG agenda: in norms, international law, capacity building, threats and responses.

For example, the gender-differentiated impacts of offensive cyber operations should be further explored and discussed by this OEWG.

For this, and to finalise, regular and meaningful participation of civil society is needed. Civil society engagement is key to ensuring diverse expertise, views and approaches to cyber discussions.

For example, civil society produces research and evidence that can inform the implementation of norms with a focus on human rights and the impact on vulnerable groups.

To achieve regular and meaningful civil society participation there is a need for a combination of both formal and informal, virtual and hybrid opportunities to engage both ECOSOC-accredited and non-ECOSOC-accredited NGOs.

In this sense, we welcome the most recent Chair's proposal on modalities for participation, which calls for greater inclusivity and transparency.

We encourage the member states to agree on this proposal at this session and we look forward to engaging in a systematic, sustained and substantive manner.

Thank you, Chair.