Joint Statement on Third Annual Nordic-Baltic + U.S. Cyber Consultations

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
September 16, 2016

The following statement was issued by the Governments of Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden, and the United States.

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Representatives of the Governments of Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden, and the United States met in Vilnius on September 13-14, 2016 for the third annual High-level Cybersecurity Roundtable.

Rooted in the countries’ shared conviction in the importance of security, stability, openness, innovation, economic ties, and public-private cooperation in cyberspace, this two-day cybersecurity roundtable built on the previous roundtables in Helsinki (2015) and Tallinn (2014) and productive discussions among these like-minded partners in areas of common interest.

The parties noted that cyberspace issues, including cybersecurity, the application of international law and norms in cyberspace, and Internet governance are important policy priorities. They acknowledged that cyber threats undermine the collective ability of all stakeholders to use the Internet to bolster economic growth and development as well as a platform for people to exercise their human rights and fundamental freedoms. They further acknowledged that in cyberspace, just as elsewhere, states have a special responsibility to promote security, stability, human rights, and economic ties with other nations. In support of those objectives, they affirmed that no state should conduct or knowingly support cyber-enabled theft of intellectual property, including trade secrets or other confidential business information, with the intent of providing competitive advantages to companies or commercial sectors. They also endorsed the 2015 report of the UN Group of Governmental Experts in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the Context of International Security, affirmed that existing international law applies to state conduct in cyberspace, and committed themselves to the view that all states should abide by voluntary and non-binding peacetime norms of responsible state behavior in cyberspace.

They provided updates on their respective domestic cybersecurity efforts and discussed the impacts of developments in the European Union, NATO, OSCE, OECD, and the UN, among others.

They affirmed the importance of Internet freedom, the principle that individuals have the same human rights online and offline, that states have the obligation to protect those rights in accordance with international law, and the role of the Freedom Online Coalition in promoting theses principles globally.

They reaffirmed their support for multistakeholder Internet governance structures that are inclusive, transparent, accountable, and technically sound; emphasized the value of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) as the premier, global, multistakeholder forum for dialogue on Internet public policy issues; and welcomed the 10-year renewal of the IGF mandate in the UN General Assembly’s 10 year review of the World Summit on the Information Society.

The roundtable was hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania. The delegations from the nine countries were led by their designated cyber coordinators or ambassadors and included officials from their respective ministries of foreign affairs, commerce, communications, defense, interior, and justice.