عربي  |  中文  |  Español  |  Français  |  Русский
 
 Advanced Search Advanced Search Site map Contact us Print Version
  Home: Office of the Secretary General

 
   
   
The International Youth Conference
Sham EL-Sheikh, Egypt
1 September 2007

Speech by ITU Secretary General Dr Hamadoun I. Touré

Your Excellency, Mrs Suzanne Mubarak, President and Founder of the Suzanne Mubarak Women’s International Peace Movement,

Dr. Tarek Kamel, Minister of Communications and Information Technology,

Representatives of international organizations,

Distinguished representatives of youth,

Ladies and gentlemen,

It’s a great pleasure and honour for me to be here with you today for this historic gathering of young people from different parts of the world. This conference is a unique opportunity for them to share their views and develop a common vision of how to build and strengthen peace and prosperity for our world.


Excellency,

I thank you and congratulate you and your institution for organizing this important event. I feel particularly privileged for ITU to be associated with the International Youth Conference. As many of you are aware, since ITU Telecom 2001, we have held several regional and international Youth Forums. One of them was kindly hosted in Cairo by the Egyptian Government during ITU Telecom Africa 2004. A similar event is planned to take place, again in Cairo, in May next year.


I am also proud to say that Egypt is one of the founding partners of the ITU Connect the World initiative. The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology has launched several citizen-oriented initiatives to promote the use of information and communication technologies (ICT). These public-private sector initiatives are being shared with other nations as successful models and best practices. Two of them readily spring to mind:  the PC for Every Home project and the Broadband Initiative.


This year’s theme for the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day, on 17 May, was “Connecting the young: the opportunities of ICT”.   The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) recognized young people as the future workforce and earliest adopters of ICT. It is clearly our duty today to provide the opportunities of ICT to all children and youth, particularly to those who remain unconnected from the on-going digital revolution.


ICT is the driving force in the world today. It is the engine of economic growth and will continue to develop as the foremost means of communication — even in the remotest corners of the world. It is a powerful tool to empower today’s youth with information and knowledge and act as a catalyst in building their capacity through improved e-learning and education. It is a means to strengthen the International Peace Movement towards the advancement of a better, more peaceful and productive world.


Excellency, ladies and gentlemen,

The key to achieving the development aspirations of the world’s inhabitants lies in investing in the future generation, especially by improving access to communication among today’s youth.


Yet, in an increasingly networked world, cybercrime threatens the fabric of our social and economic life. In particular, it threatens our children and youth. Young people are particularly vulnerable to predators who exploit the borderless expanse of cyberspace to intrude into their homes — and attack their minds and bodies.


It is our foremost duty to protect young people and children even as we support the growth and development of ICT and cyberspace. This is why I launched ITU’s Global Cybersecurity Agenda on World Telecommunication and Information Society Day — devoted this year to providing ICT opportunities to young people.


Indeed Cybersecurity and Cyberpeace are amongst the most critical concerns in this information age. The magnitude of the issue calls for a coordinated global response as cybercrime is not limited by geographic boundaries. It is therefore important to foster a common understanding of the importance of cybersecurity and sterngthen close international cooperation.


Distinguished youth representatives, the presence of high-ranking officials and experts at this conference confirms the value they all attach to young people and their commitment to harness your potential towards sustainable development and help turn your dreams into reality.


The five themes and sessions have been aptly selected by the organizers of this event, and reflect the overall goal of empowering youth and nurturing their potential. It is my expectation that you will use this opportunity to further your aspirations and come up with concrete, action-oriented recommendations that will move us closer to the realization of a peaceful and prosperous future for our communities and for the rest of the world. “Unity is strength, and division is weakness”. We need to work together to come up with innovative ideas, which can be pursued jointly as a demonstration of our unity and common agenda for peace and prosperity — and enhanced cybersecurity.

Excellency, ladies and gentlemen,

Let me conclude by expressing my optimism that through your active participation as the world’s youth, you will seize this opportunity to make the world a more peaceful and better place through the use of ICT as a powerful tool for accelerating social and economic development. The seeds of change for this aspiration have been planted.  The onus is on you to nourish them for the benefit of our world. I am confident that the International Youth Conference will pave the way for the future we all want to create.


I wish you successful deliberations and thank you for your attention.

 

 

 

Top -  Feedback -  Contact Us -  Copyright © ITU 2014 All Rights Reserved
Contact for this page: External Affairs and Corporate Communication Division
Updated: 2014-07-22