Distinguished guests, Representatives of Governments, PITA members, ladies and gentlemen;
It is a pleasure for me to address, and welcome you this morning to Norfolk Island.
First, I would like to thank the Government of Norfolk Island for hosting the PITA AGM as well as the ITU working group meeting this week, and the fine hospitality offered to me since my arrival.
Second, I would like to thank all of you for making the effort to come to Norfolk Island to finalize the regional model of cybercrime legislation and policy, and especially those who are funded by your national budgets, which shows the commitment and support to the ITU through the ICB4PAC project.
Last but not least, I would also like to acknowledge and thank PITA for its excellent partnership with the ITU through its financial contribution that takes care of the cost for this venue, and other necessary meeting expenses.
At the outset, let me reaffirm solemnly to you here that I am committed to ITU development work for the Pacific Island countries and, in particular, the project on “Capacity building and ICTs, regulatory and legislative framework” or ICB4PAC.
The assessment reports of the present situation of the ICB4PAC topics show that there is still a huge ICT gap between each of the recipient countries, and between those countries and the rest of the world.
There are many challenges that are unique to your countries, including small population and land mass, vulnerability to natural disasters and climate change, and remoteness from the rest of the world, to name a few.
There is therefore a lot of ICT development work to be done in the region, which I take as opportunity for leapfrogging on the development success of others, drawing on the contribution of ICT to socio-economic development. I am here to tell you that, as Director of the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau, I will do everything I can to accompany your efforts in this region, and would welcome your feedback or any question you may have throughout this week.
Distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen
As you know, one of the major areas of concern highlighted at WSIS was Cybersecurity. Action Line C5 on cybersecurity was assigned to ITU after the WSIS Tunis summit.
I am very pleased to note that during the ICB4PAC planning meeting in Fiji 2009, you identified cybersecurity as one of the priority topics. While ITU takes the lead role, we do listen to national authorities and seriously take into account the requests that you submit for ITU assistance.
With the growing connectivity and the transformation of the traditional way we communicate, provide public services and do business, cybercrime is now an issue not only for developed, but also for developing countries.
This is the reason why I value the information from the cybercrime assessments report on the challenges facing countries with regards to national cybercrime legislations, where data was collected and compared to regional and international best practices. This information was presented during the ICB4PAC workshop in Vanuatu and in Samoa in 2011.
Participating countries requested the ITU to carry on and assist them in facilitating the elaboration of cybercrime legislation. I am pleased to say that through the ICB4PAC project, in-country support is ongoing.
I am also told of the success story for your hard work in that Samoa’s cybercrime chapter of her Crimes Ordinance has been through its second reading in Parliament and will become law after its 3rd reading in July.
Another key activity of the ITU within the Global Cybersecurity Agenda has been the Child Online Protection initiative. We must protect our children who are digital natives but at the same time digital vulnerable. The Child Online Protection initiative was launched in 2008 and was endorsed by Heads of State, Ministers and heads of international organizations from around the world – including by Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary-General.
The ITU, and particular the its Telecommunication Development Bureau of which I have the privilege to lead, is committed to working with all the stakeholders, and is pleased to be able to offer a forum for open discussion of the cybersecurity issues with the Pacific Island countries through the ICB4PAC project.
ITU acknowledges the work you are all doing through the ICB4PAC project in national ICT policies, interconnection and cost modeling, numbering and number hijacking, universal access and services, international mobile roaming and cybersecurity. We are happy to be your partner accompanying you together with the European Commission.
I am very pleased to note that this week’s meeting is to finalize a regional model cybercrime legislation and policy while we continue to assist countries in drafting their cybercrime legislation and policy at national level.
I wish you well in your discussions and take pleasure in now declaring the “ICB4PAC workshop on finalizing the model cybercrime legislation and policy” officially open.
Norfolk Island 4/17/2012