30 October 2013
Statement by Mr. Mostafa Shishechiha Deputy Director of Disarmament and International Security Department
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran
On: Other Disarmament Measures and International Security
At the Thematic Debate of the 68th Session of the First Committee
New York, 30 October 2013
In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful
Please check against delivery
My delegation associates itself with the NAM statement.
Information and telecommunications technologies and means are among the main driving forces of development in all societies.
At the same time, they have the potential of being used for illegal purposes, particularly by criminals and terrorists, including for adversely affecting the social, cultural, economic, political and security infrastructures and interests of States.
Therefore, ensuring constant availability, reliability, integrity and security of information and building a safe and secure information and telecommunications environment is in the interest of all nations and thus of utmost necessity.
Accordingly, taking all appropriate national measures to prevent their use for illegal purposes is essential. Nevertheless, due to the complex nature and unique features of these technologies and means, including borderless space, dynamic, anonymity, speed and rapid technological advances, it seems that ensuring the security of information and telecommunications merely through the adoption of national measures is impossible. For that reason, all States, while acting nationally, should cooperate internationally as well.
Noting the ongoing efforts within the United Nations and other international organizations on this issue, the Islamic Republic of Iran is of the view that the main purpose of that process should be to develop a common understanding between States about the importance of enhancing security of information and telecommunications, the nature, scope and severity of threats to them, and finding the ways and means of preventing those threats.
The ultimate goal of that process should be the progressive development of solid international legal foundations for strengthening and ensuring the security of global information and telecommunications and preventing their use for illegal purposes.
This process should be carried out based on the following principles:
1. As a general principle, international law is applicable and therefore, should be applied to the use of information and telecommunications technologies and means by States.
2. Nothing shall affect the sovereign right of States in the field of information and telecommunications, including the development, acquisition, use, import and export of, and access to, information and telecommunications know-how, technologies and means as well as all related services, without restriction or discrimination.
3. Ensuring the security of information and telecommunications at the national level is exclusively the responsibility of individual State. However, due to the global nature of information and telecommunications, States should be encouraged to cooperate in preventing the threats resulting from their malicious use.
4. The right to freedom of expression should fully be respected, in full conformity with the UN Charter, national laws and the principles of protection of national security, public order, public health or morals and decency.
5. States are responsible for their internationally wrongful activities using information and telecommunications technologies and means that is clearly attributable to them.
6. States should refrain, under any circumstances, from the use of information and telecommunications technologies and means for hostile, restrictive or other illegal purposes, including the development and use of information weapons; to undermine or destabilize political, economic or social systems of other States or to erode their cultural, moral, ethical or religious values; and the transboundary dissemination of information in contravention of international law, or national legislation of targeted countries.
I thank you Mr. Chairman.