On 7 November, Brazil and Germany introduced the text on which action will be taken in a few minutes. Since that day the list of co-sponsors has consistently grown, from the initial 10 co-sponsors to the current close to 50 Members. Co-sponsors to document L.45/Rev.1 represent a wide spectrum of the UN Membership, including countries of all regions of the world and levels of development. The breadth of support clearly signals the importance of the issue.
With this resolution, we inaugurate, at the UN, a much needed debate on upholding the right to privacy in the digital age and examining human rights violations that may result from domestic and extraterritorial surveillance and interception of communications and collection of data.
Throughout the informal consultations we promoted a participatory and inclusive process and endeavored to incorporate improvements while preserving the essential elements of the original draft.
The thrust of the resolution goes to the core of Brazil's concern as stated by President Dilma Roussseff at the opening of the 68th UNGA, that is: to consider possible human rights violations - arising from domestic and extraterritorial surveillance on a mass scale - in particular of the right to privacy, which is a critical dimension of the right to freedom of opinion and expression and a fundamental tenet of democracy.
Through this resolution, the General Assembly establishes, for the first time, that human rights should prevail irrespective of the medium, and therefore need to be protected both offline and online.
It also reiterates that human rights are universal, and this has two implications. The first is that each and every individual is entitled to their promotion and protection. The second is that States should refrain from and be held accountable for any act that may violate these rights, including the right to privacy.
We believe, therefore, that the legitimate concerns with security - that States may have - can and should be addressed in a manner consistent with Members' obligations under international human rights law.
We expect that resolution L.45/Rev.1 will launch a debate that is central to our times on surveillance and respect for human rights in cyberspace. In so doing, the UN will demonstrate it can keep pace with the rapid evolution of information and communication technology, and, at the same time, safeguard the protection of human rights and the legitimate concerns of Governments, organized civil society and individuals.
In closing, Brazil would like to thank again the firm and continued support of the co-sponsors and Members who have assisted us in this process of introducing into the UN agenda a theme of utmost importance to our peoples and Governments. As Amnesty International has stated in a letter addressed to all UN Members on 11/20, by supporting this draft resolution, we will be upholding "the right of all individuals to use information and communication technologies such as the Internet without fear of unwarranted interference".
As Brazil affirmed earlier this month, we should all agree that the human right to privacy is pivotal to any democratic society. Full participation in democracy implies full protection of individual liberties, including the right to privacy in the digital age.