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The role of the UN Security Council in cybersecurity: international peace and security in the digital age


At the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, the UN Security Council is faced with difficult questions about its efficacy, relevance and legitimacy. The leading powers and the permanent members (P5) of the Security Council – China, France, Russia, the UK and the USA – are drawn into a heavy contest over the world order. Power lines are (to be) drawn in an increasingly digital, interconnected and multi-stakeholder society. So far, despite the language from heads of states, global media houses and from leaders of international organizations including NATO and the UN, none of the P5 countries have brought cyber to the UNSC. Other countries – for instance, Lithuania and the Netherlands – have considered introducing cybersecurity issues in the Council, but no action has followed. One of the most recent members-elect, Estonia, has pledged to take the issue up.
To stay relevant and act up on its responsibility for international peace and security, the Security Council will have to establish itself vis-à-vis cyber issues. The goal of this chapter is to examine why and how. To what extent do questions pertaining to digital threats and cybersecurity fall within the mandate of the Council and what could it address given the politically tense times among the P5.
  • Published year: 2020
  • Full version: Buy here
  • Publisher: Routledge
  • Language: English
  • Title of book/report: Routledge Handbook of International Cybersecurity