ICTs at BRICS 2015 Summit

The VII BRICS Summit recently concluded with the release of the 2015 Ufa Declaration.The entire declaration can be found here and the relevant excerpts related to ICTs are provided below.

33. ICTs are emerging as an important medium to bridge the gap between developed and developing countries, as well as to foster professional and creative talents of people. We recognize the importance of ICTs as a tool for transition from information to a knowledge society and the fact that it is inseparably connected with human development. We support the inclusion of ICT-related issues in the post-2015 development agenda and greater access to ICTs to empower women as well as vulnerable groups to meet the objectives of the agenda.

We also recognize the potential of developing countries in the ICT ecosystem and acknowledge that they have an important role to play in addressing the ICT-related issues in the post-2015 development agenda.

We recognize the urgent need to further strengthen cooperation in the areas of ICTs, including Internet, which is in the interests of our countries. In that context, we decided to constitute a BRICS working group on ICT cooperation. We reiterate the inadmissibility of using ICTs and the Internet to violate human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the right to privacy, and reaffirm that the same rights that people have offline must also be protected online. A system ensuring confidentiality and protection of users’ personal data should be considered.

We consider that the Internet is a global resource and that states should participate on an equal footing in its evolution and functioning, taking into account the need to involve relevant stakeholders in their respective roles and responsibilities. We are in favour of an open, non-fragmented and secure Internet. We uphold the roles and responsibilities of national governments in regard to regulation and security of the network.

We acknowledge the need to promote, among others, the principles of multilateralism, democracy, transparency and mutual trust, and stand for the development of universally agreed rules of conduct with regard to the network. It is necessary to ensure that UN plays a facilitating role in setting up international public policies pertaining to the Internet.

We support the evolution of the Internet governance ecosystem, which should be based on an open and democratic process, free from the influence of any unilateral considerations.

34. Information and communications technologies provide citizens with new tools for the effective functioning of economy, society and state. ICTs enhance opportunities for the establishment of global partnerships for sustainable development, the strengthening of international peace and security and for the promotion and protection of human rights. In addition, we express our concern over the use of ICTs for purposes of transnational organized crime, of developing offensive tools, and conducting acts of terrorism. We agree that the use and development of ICTs through international cooperation and universally accepted norms and principles of international law is of paramount importance in order to ensure a peaceful, secure and open digital and Internet space. We reiterate our condemnation of mass electronic surveillance and data collection of individuals all over the world, as well as violation of the sovereignty of States and of human rights, in particular, the right to privacy. We recognize that states are not at the same level of development and capacity with regard to ICTs. We commit ourselves to focus on expanding universal access to all forms of digital communication and to improve awareness of people in this regard. We also stress the need to promote cooperation among our countries to combat the use of ICTs for criminal and terrorist purposes. We recognize the need for a universal regulatory binding instrument on combating the criminal use of ICTs under the UN auspices. Furthermore, we are concerned with the potential misuse of ICTs for purposes, which threaten international peace and security. We emphasize the central importance of the principles of international law enshrined in the UN Charter, particularly the political independence, territorial integrity and sovereign equality of states, non-interference in internal affairs of other states and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.

We reaffirm the general approach set forth in the e’Thekwini and Fortaleza Declarations on the importance of security in the use of ICTs and the key role of the UN in addressing these issues. We encourage the international community to focus its efforts on confidence-building measures, capacity-building, the non-use of force, and the prevention of conflicts in the use of ICTs. We will seek to develop practical cooperation with each other in order to address common security challenges in the use of ICTs. We will continue to consider the adoption of the rules, norms and principles of responsible behavior of States in this sphere.

In that context, the Working Group of Experts of the BRICS States on security in the use of ICTs will initiate cooperation in the following areas: sharing of information and best practices relating to security in the use of ICTs; effective coordination against cyber-crime; the establishment of nodal points in member-states; intra-BRICS cooperation using the existing Computer Security Incident Response Teams (CSIRT); joint research and development projects; capacity building; and the development of international norms, principles and standards.”

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