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United Nations Cybercrime Treaty

New Zealand’s engagement in the new United Nations process to negotiate an international cybercrime treaty

Aotearoa New Zealand is currently engaged in the new United Nations process to negotiate an international cybercrime treaty. On this page you will find updated information about how the negotiations are tracking, as well as any upcoming consultations and opportunities for engagement.

You can also contact our negotiating team any time at UNcybercrimeconvention@dpmc.govt.nz.


What is the UN cybercrime treaty and why does it matter to New Zealand?

On 27 December 2019, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 74/247 establishing an Ad Hoc Committee to Elaborate a Comprehensive International Convention on Countering the Use of Information and Communications Technologies for Criminal Purposes.

Aotearoa New Zealand’s overarching goal for the negotiations is to seek a harmonised, modern and effective global framework for cooperation and coordination between states to tackle the growing threat posed by cybercrime to individuals, business and governments. Addressing cybercrime and cyber-enabled crime is a priority for Aotearoa New Zealand and the broader Pacific region. New Zealand has experienced the effects of several major cyber-attacks over the past few years. Our region’s increasing reliance on digital connectivity, something that has increased during the COVID pandemic, has heightened the need to ensure cyber security. The frequency and severity of attacks continues to grow, and effective cyber security is critical to our economic and security resilience.

Aotearoa New Zealand seeks to maintain and promote a rules-based international order in line with our values. It is important therefore that Aotearoa New Zealand is part of the conversation that shapes this new instrument for international cooperation. 

We know that New Zealanders have a strong interest in a safe, secure, free and open internet. We are therefore committed to engaging with non-government stakeholders including the private sector, civil society, academia, and interested New Zealanders throughout the negotiations.

Stay up to date

The first session of the Ad Hoc Committee to Elaborate a Comprehensive International Convention on Countering the Use of Information and Communications Technologies for Criminal Purposes took place from 28 February – 11 March 2022 in New York. The Ad Hoc Committee agreed on a range of procedural matters to guide future sessions and exchanged initial views on the scope and objectives of the draft Convention. 

The key outcomes from the session were:

  1. Agreement on the broad elements that would make up the structure of the Convention.
  2. Agreement on a roadmap for the negotiations (setting out the negotiating timeline).
  3. The Committee discussed the scope and objectives of the Convention based on a document developed by the Chair. This document will serve as a guide for future negotiating sessions.  

The above documents, as well as the report of the first session, can be found on the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) website here.

The next session of the Ad Hoc Committee will take place in Vienna, 30 May – 10 June. The second session will focus on an initial read through of the general provisions, criminalisation provisions, and provisions on procedural measures and law enforcement.

The UNODC website also includes updates from the secretariat and submissions to upcoming sessions from member states including New Zealand.

Past Consultations

In October 2021, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Ministry of Justice sought your views on a set of draft principles and objectives to guide New Zealand’s engagement in the early stages of the negotiations. You can read the results here.

Have your say

The Ad Hoc Committee secretariat gave member states until 8 April to make written statements on the topics below, which will be discussed at the second negotiating session, in the form of either drafting suggestions or general expressions of national positions:

  • General provisions
  • Criminalisation provisions
  • Provisions on procedural measures and law enforcement

New Zealand submitted a written statement covering our national position on these issues in line with our domestic legislation. Due to the tight deadline provided by the Secretariat, many member states focused their statements on a few key issues. New Zealand’s statement addresses criminalisation provisions.

This statement provides a high level summary to support the negotiation process, however we are continuing to develop our detailed approach to the next substantive discussion, including in response to the statements provided by other countries. We would welcome your views and suggestions as we prepare for this next round.

New Zealand’s written statement to the 2nd session of the AHC

Below are some guiding questions you may find useful to use in your submission:

  1. What do you think about the criminalisation provisions New Zealand has included in our statement? Are there any other criminalisation provisions you believe New Zealand should advocate for the inclusion of in the convention?
  2. Are there any criminalisation provisions (included in New Zealand’s statement or not) that may be discussed in the second session that you believe should NOT be included in the convention, and why?
  3. Do you have any other comments on the content of New Zealand’s written statement?
  4. Are there any points in the written statement of any other member state or non-government stakeholder that you particularly support and would like to bring to the attention of the New Zealand negotiating team?

Please note that any submission you make becomes official information. People can ask for copies of submissions under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA). The OIA says information shall be made available unless there is a good reason for withholding it. Reasons to withhold official information are given in sections 6 and 9 of the OIA. If you think there is a reason why anything in your submission should not be made public, please let us know. Reasons for this might include that it is commercially sensitive. Note that any decision to withhold information can be reviewed by the Ombudsman, who may find that a decision to withhold official information is wrong.

Please send your submission to UNcybercrimeconvention@dpmc.govt.nz by 20 May 5.00pm.

Last updated: 
Friday, 29 April 2022

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