We, the Heads of State and Government of the Russian Federation and African States recognized by the United Nations (UN) (hereinafter also referred to as the Russian Federation and African States), and representatives of the African Union and Africa’s leading integration organizations, gathered on 28 July 2023 in Saint-Petersburg (Russian Federation) to participate in the Second Russia-Africa Summit,
Reaffirming, further to the decisions of the first Russia-Africa Summit (Sochi, 24 October 2019) and in accordance with the Declaration of the first Russia-Africa Summit, the firm commitment to the progressive development of cooperation between the Russian Federation and African States in the field of international information security,
Noting that the use of information and communications technologies may have a direct impact on the political, economic, military, humanitarian and other components of international security and stability,
Concerned that information and communications technologies may be used for purposes incompatible with maintaining international peace, security and stability,
Considering it necessary to prevent the use of information and communications technologies for undermining (infringing upon) sovereignty, violating the territorial integrity of States, conducting computer attacks against critical information infrastructure, as well as for terrorist, extremist and other criminal purposes,
Attaching great importance to ensuring the security of information and communications technologies supply chains and expressing disagreement with attempts by certain States and large companies to monopolize the information and communications technologies market, limit access of other States to advanced technologies and to increase their dependence, creating information inequality,
Confirming the right and duty of States to counter, within the framework of national legislation, the use of information and communications technologies for disseminating misleading information of social relevance that poses a threat to national security, as well as to peace, cooperation and friendly relations between States and nations,
Noting that definition and subsequent adoption of the principles of personal data processing common to all UN Member States will significantly increase the level of protection of such data in transborder exchange, and will also contribute to the development of relevant national legislation,
Declare the following:
1. We reaffirm shared approaches of the Russian Federation and African States to ensuring security in the use of information and communications technologies. We declare that the use of information and communications technologies and cooperation in the field of international information security shall comply with the principles of ensuring human rights and freedoms and generally recognized principles and norms of international law, enshrined primarily in the UN Charter.
2. We stand for strengthening cooperation between States in the interests of preventing and finding peaceful solutions to conflicts, as well as reducing the risks of misperception that may arise from the use of information and communications technologies. We reaffirm the key role of the UN in further developing rules, norms and principles of responsible behaviour of States in the use of information and communications technologies, including through the establishment of an international legally-binding instruments and their implementation by UN Member States within agreed framework. We acknowledge the need to elaborate under the UN auspices effective and universal legally-binding instruments on the security of and the safe use of information and communications technologies and the prevention of computer attacks against civilian infrastructure. We call for strengthening capacity building activities in this area and intensifying interaction between the competent authorities and authorized national organizations, including those in the field of responding to computer incidents.
3. We stand for international cooperation in the field of information security by intensifying efforts at the bilateral and multilateral levels. We confirm our readiness to continue working together and coordinating the efforts of the Russian Federation and African States under the auspices of the UN.
4. We emphasize the importance of capacity-building for countering common threats in the information space, as well as measures to enhance international security, trust and cooperation between States. Such measures shall be aimed at the peaceful use of information and communications technologies, strengthening the digital sovereignty of developing States, shall take into account their needs and requirements, facilitate the exchange of experience and best practices, as well as promote the training of qualified specialists.
5. We reaffirm our commitment to developing multilateral cooperation on countering the use of information and communications technologies for terrorist, extremist and other criminal purposes. We call for the completion of a comprehensive international convention on countering the use of information and communications technologies for criminal purposes under the auspices of the UN.
6. We recognize the need to increase coordination between the Russian Federation and African States in international organizations of the UN system in the field of telecommunications and postal services, ensuring their work, within the framework of the statutory documents, aimed at developing of information and communications technologies, as well as preventing various forms of discrimination against the participating States of these organizations.
7. We believe it important to implement the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society, adopted in 2005 at the World Summit on the Information Society. We support the creation of a balanced international Internet governance system under the auspices of the UN in order to eliminate the influence of any unilateral political restrictions or commercial interests on it and to ensure the security, integrity, and stability of the critical infrastructure of the worldwide network.
8. In order to further deepen cooperation between the Russian Federation and African States, agreed to hold a regional Russia-Africa meeting on security in the use of information and communications technologies, which will lay the foundation for practical interaction between the interested authorities of our States.