Ladies and Gentlemen,
As you are aware, ITU launched the Global Cybersecurity Agenda (GCA) just
over a year ago, in its capacity as sole facilitator for WSIS Action Line C5 –
namely, the coordination of a worldwide response to the global challenges posed
In October 2007, HLEG congregated for the first time. Now, 7 months later, we
are gathering here for the second HLEG meeting, and the GCA initiative is
rolling ahead full steam. In fact, I am confident in stating that HLEG
represents, without a doubt, the most credible group of cybersecurity experts in
With a long history and a cybersecurity mandate in Development, Standardization
and Radiocommunication, ITU itself is one of the main stakeholders in
cybersecurity. However, the objective of the GCA is to address the activities
and mandate of the much broader WSIS multi-stakeholder community.
In order for ITU to be able to meet its obligations as WSIS C5 Facilitator, ,
HLEG was established outside ITU’s existing structure, as an informal body that
advises the Secretary-General in accordance with the Goals of the GCA, ITU’s
role as facilitator for C5 and consistent with the multi-stakeholder spirit of
the WSIS process.
When GCA was launched, the main responsibilities of HLEG were:
1. To meet the Global Cybersecurity Agenda’s main goals in the areas of:
- Legal Measures;
- Technical and Procedural Measures;
- Organizational Structures;
- Capacity Building;
- International Cooperation;
all of this while taking into account existing initiatives and the work of key
stakeholders. The aim here is to elaborate strategies on emerging cyber-threats
and highlight those solutions that would address them.
2. To propose further refinements of these goals and in light of any new
developments in this field.
3. To analyse current and future developments in cybersecurity, including
both threats and state-of-the-art solutions, anticipate emerging and future
challenges, identify strategic options, and formulate concrete, action-oriented
and precise proposals or recommendations to the ITU Secretary-General.
These were our main goals then and they are our main goals still, although I
would now add that HLEG has an important ongoing advisory role to play even
after these immediate goals are met.
The outputs from HLEG will be used primarily for two purposes:
1. The global strategies elaborated by HLEG in the five GCA work areas will
serve as a vital resource for the broader WSIS Stakeholder community. It is
expected that each stakeholder group will implement those strategies that are
within their particular mandate and area of expertise, in the spirit of global
cooperation, collaboration and building synergies. ITU, being a main stakeholder
itself [which is, after all, why ITU was chosen as sole facilitator for C5],
will also take account of those strategies that are in accordance with its
Constitution and the ITU Convention.
2. The HLEG report will also be used by me as input for supporting proposals to
ITU Council 2008, where ITU’s role as facilitator for WSIS Action Line C5 will
be reviewed in accordance with ITU Constitution and Convention.
While not all HLEG experts were able to be here today, I am grateful to those of
you that are here – I know that your time and energy is valuable and I greatly
appreciate your effort in making the GCA what it is today.
I know, also, that you are here because you believe in the GCA and understand
the very real dangers that face us globally. Dangers that are increasing and
becoming more sophisticated with every passing day. ITU’s own Strategic Plan for
2008-2011 – which targets cybersecurity as one of the top priorities – has just
begun. The expertise of HLEG members and the support of our GCA partners has
never been more vital.
So, where does the GCA go from here, one year after it was launched?
Since, at the end of the day, making the world a safer place to live and do
business will be thanks to what we do – now is the time to turn planning into
action! Admittedly, making sure that this happens will require significant
resources. Which is why I am pleased to announce the launch of a new GCA
Sponsorship programme. This Sponsorship programme – the proceeds of which will
be used to support the future work of the program, to help ensure that all
relevant stakeholders are aware of HLEG’s valuable work, but also increase
global understanding about how to work together to implement effective
strategies. It will then be up to the stakeholders themselves – within their
respective mandates and capabilities – to translate these strategies into
As part of a growing global community sharing the same desire for a safer and
more secure information society, GCA Sponsors will help promote the goals of
this initiative around the world by participating in high-profile business
activities including publications, pubic campaigns, an annual conference and
other events. In addition to the opportunity to meet with high-level decision
makers, Sponsors also stand to enhance their image and credibility with their
stakeholders. After all – thanks to your support – the GCA has firmly
established itself as the worldwide leader in tackling cybersecurity.
In the meantime, there is still plenty to do, and it is my hope and belief that
the work HLEG is doing will have positive repercussions for many years to come.
I would like nothing better than to be able to look back and, in our current
efforts, recognize the foundation of a safe and secure global information
society. To this end, and with your support, I would therefore like to extend my
invitation for the HLEG to continue at least until I submit my report to council
after which we will decide a way forward. . I believe that HLEG has a crucial
role to play in continuing to ensure that cyberspace remains a safe and secure
Before closing, let me express my thanks to all the members of this Group
including those who could not attend this meeting today. I will like to
specially thank the Chair of HLEG, Judge Stein Scholberg and the Work Area
- Mr. Jaak Tepandi,
- Mr. Justin Rattner,
- Mr. Taïeb Debbagh,
- Ms. Solange Ghernaouti-Helie,
- Mr. Ivar Tallo,
- Mr. Shamsul Jafni Shafie,
- Mr. Zane Cleophas,
Thank you and I wish you an inspired and effective meeting.