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Safer Internet Day

Message by ITU Secretary-General, Houlin Zhao​

ITU Child Online Protection : Safer Internet Day

10 February 2015, Geneva, Switzerland

Today, February 10, is Safer Internet Day. For the global community, this is important part of efforts to improve the safety and security of the digital tools we all rely on, each and every day.

"Creating a better internet together" is this year's theme. The word 'together' is the key. It's a word we hear very often. But in reality, in the online world global collaboration is not so easily implemented. Different countries have different concepts of online safety. And different countries also have different levels of cyber-development.

Safer Internet Day is a great example of how the international community can start to collaborate in a harmonized way to create a better environment for all.

As the UN specialized agency for information and communication technology (ICT), ITU is helping leverage the efforts of a host of different partners around the world. We're also raising awareness of the issue to our global membership, which comprises 193 member countries, more than 700 private sector members from across the ICT industry, and over 80 institutional members from the global academic community.

Promoting access to ICTs is ITU's core mandate. But at the same time as fostering greater access for everybody, we recognize the vital need to ensure that ICTs are used in a responsible and safe manner – especially for our younger generation.

Thanks to the support and commitment of our Child Online Protection (COP) Partners, and with the help of their resources, invaluable expertise, and activities, ITU's own COP Initiative has achieved a great deal in recent years. Child online safety is now much higher on the political agenda of many countries, and has become a top priority for a wide variety of stakeholders, including businesses and financial institutions.

I warmly encourage all of you to join us today in promoting the increasingly vital need to keep everyone, and especially our young people, safe online.