New Zealand's draft principles and objectives for negotiating a new UN convention on cybercrime

Closed 6 Oct 2021

Opened 8 Sep 2021


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Ministry of Justice are inviting public feedback on New Zealand’s draft principles and objectives for negotiating a new UN convention on cybercrime.

Negotiations have been launched in the UN

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.

This Resolution launched negotiations of a new international convention on cybercrime. The convention will further enable international cooperation in the ongoing and increasingly complex fight against cybercrime. Beyond that, the shape and potential scope of the convention are unclear at this stage.

New Zealand will be participating in the negotiations

The starting point for New Zealand’s participation in these negotiations are the vision and values set out in our existing Cyber Security Strategy Vision: that New Zealanders are secure online, that human rights are protected for all, that opportunities for economic growth are enhanced, and that our national security is protected.

This is underpinned by our broader vision for cyberspace:

  • a cyberspace that is safe, secure, stable, multi-stakeholder-governed, free, open and interoperable;
  • a well-functioning rules-based order in cyberspace that protects and promotes human rights including the right to freedom of expression and the right not to be subjected to arbitrary and unlawful interference with privacy; and
  • respect for the rule of law online and offline.

We know that New Zealanders have a strong interest in a safe, secure, free and open internet.

As part of the negotiating process, there may be opportunities for New Zealand to contribute to improvements in global responses to combatting crime online and cooperation to collect and share evidence of criminal offending.

We would like to invite your thoughts on our proposed approach

In order to inform New Zealand’s initial approach to the negotiations, we are welcoming your thoughts now on our draft high-level principles and objectives for engagement in the process, and/or particular areas of interest for you on this topic.

Input will be collected and analysed and will influence the negotiating mandate that officials have to obtain to participate in the first session, commencing on 17 January 2022.

At the bottom of this page you will find links to:

  • background information on the UN cybercrime treaty negotiation process
  • our proposed principles and objectives

Submissions will be open until Wednesday 6 October.

Your submission will become official information

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 if requested 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 on your submission form. Reasons for this might include that it is commercially sensitive. If you are an individual, as opposed to an organisation, the Department will consider removing your personal details from the submission before disclosing it. Any decision to withhold information can be reviewed by the Ombudsman, who may find that a decision to withhold official information is wrong.