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Opening remarks by
Mr. Houlin Zhao, ITU Deputy Secretary-General
Geneva Security Forum (GSF)

Palexpo, Geneva, 20 June 2007

 

Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me first of all thank the organizers of the Geneva Security Forum for giving ITU the opportunity to participate in this important event and also congratulate them for putting together this event.

Security as you know is at the center of many discussions, conferences and initiatives. This is so because solutions and services that are built on secure environments can extend the benefits of ICTs but at the same time it is important for us to protect those critical resources on which many businesses, government and citizens rely for basic services.

While significant progress has been made in the use of ICTs as a vehicle for social and economic development, in order for us to meet the targets set in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and agreed to by the representatives of the peoples of the world during the first and second phases of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), we must address the current and emerging threats to the information society. I believe that the Geneva Security Forum is a positive step in that direction.

Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen, It is difficult today for countries to shut down their borders to incoming cyber threats.

We can not restrict cyber-criminals to geographical locations.

Cyber-criminals do not have to be in the same location as their victims. Laws, technological measures and other strategies that are national or regional are very important but they do not address global nature of the challenges we face today.

Because the threats we face today affect all countries, we must arrive at a common understanding on how we can address the needs of all countries, including least developed, developing, transition economies and the developed countries. We need to think globally, we need to work together in a collective manner to identify those actions and elaborate strategies to address the global challenges we face today.

With its 191 Member States and more than 700 Sector members including leading industry players and Associates, ITU is well placed to provide the forum for international cooperation in Cybersecurity.

ITU has worked on security for many years. The famous technical specification for e-commerce, ITU-T Rec. X.509, was established by ITU in 1988. Many technical standards developed by ITU and promotions organized by ITU helped the world community and contributed to the security of world ICT networks and services.

Its lead role as the sole Facilitator for WSIS Action Line C.5, its mandate in the standardization and development domains of security and having security as one of its high priority strategic goal, provides the right environment for bringing together all interested stakeholders to work on strategies and solutions to these global challenges.

On 17 May, which marked the 142nd anniversary of ITU, the ITU Secretary-General launched the Global Cybersecurity Agenda.

The Global Cybersecurity Agenda (GCA) is a multi-stakeholder platform that will build on existing initiatives and partners in a framework of international cooperation.

Its purpose is to identify those common and global challenges and propose concrete solutions.

The Global Cybersecurity Agenda is built on five main pillars:

  1. Legal aspects

  2. Technical measures

  3. Organizational structures

  4. Capacity building as a cross-cutting work area

  5. International cooperation to bring it all together

Based on actions to be undertaken in these five main pillars, goals have been identified as the basis for concerted, harmonized and global actions aimed at making progress in our collective efforts to fight combat Cybercrime. Further information about the Global Cybersecurity Agenda can be found at: www.itu.int/cybersecurity/gca/

Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen, ITU appreciate the initiative of the �Geneva Security Forum�. ITU shares the views and strategies of the GSF. As both are close to each other in Geneva, we could work closely, mutually support each other. ITU is looking forward to a fruitful cooperation with GSF.

We have less than 8 years to meet the targets set by WSIS. It is important for all of us (governments, industry, international organizations and civil society) to intensify our efforts and work collectively in promoting the development goals of the MDGs through confidence and security in the use of ICTs.

I therefore take this opportunity to invite you all to join us in our efforts so that we can put together our resources and expertise in a coordinated, global and coherent strategy to build confidence and security in the use of ICTs.

I wish you a successful meeting.

Thank you for your attention.

 

 

 

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