Speech from Dr Hamadoun I. Touré, ITU Secretary-General

Global Cybersecurity Agenda: Third Meeting of the High-Level Experts Group
Geneva, Switzerland
26 June 2008

Ladies and Gentlemen,


Let me take this opportunity to welcome you again to ITU and thank you for your continuous efforts over the past 8 months since we met for the first time in October last year.


HLEG today comprises of 103 experts from governments, industry, international and regional organizations, research and academic institutions from all parts of the world.


During the past several months, I have been following up on the work of the HLEG and have listened with great care to the exchanges. In some cases, there are differences in views while in other cases you succeed to arrive at a common understanding.

The challenges that the global community face in tacking the issues related to cyber insecurity, cyber-threats and cyber-crime and all other forms of misuse of information and communication technologies are daunting, global, increasing in sophistication and they affecting even more users, businesses and governments.

No single country, organization or company can solve the challenges we face alone.

The only way forward is for us to increase our level of organization and work together in a spirit of cooperation and collaboration. This however, requires that someone takes the lead to facilitate the process of building synergies among the stakeholders and to provide a framework where all interested entities could collaborate.

ITU has been entrusted by world leaders to coordinate a global response to these challenges. Calls from ITU Membership in decisions taken at ITU Plenipotentiary conference in 2006 are also very clear. During the recent WSIS Action Line C5 meeting organized by ITU in May this year, participants again stressed the need for action and for ITU take concrete actions.

It is time for us to transform our intentions, strategies, recommendations and proposals into action.

I have always said that ITU cannot do this alone but someone needs to lead this process and facilitate global multi-stakeholder cooperation. The Global Cybersecurity Agenda (GCA) was launched in May last year with this objective.

The High Level Experts Group (HLEG) of the GCA was established with the following goals:

  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

  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.

This third meeting of the HLEG is very important because it’s a milestone for the work of the HLEG as we discuss and work towards an agreement on the recommendations that this Group will submit to me for consideration at the end of this meeting today. 

As you are all aware, the objectives of this 3rd meeting are to:

  • Agree upon the set of recommendations on all five work areas.
  • Present the Global Strategic Report on all five work areas.

As explained during the last HLEG meeting and other exchanges to HLEG members, the outputs of the HLEG would serve two main purposes:

  1. The Global Strategic Report 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 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 in accordance with its Constitution and the ITU Convention.
  2. Some of the HLEG Recommendations will also be used by me as input to proposals to ITU Council 2008.
  3. Other proposals and recommendations will be transformed into concrete activities within the framework of ITU Constitution and Convention.

The GCA is already entering a new phase with the growing support from many players from governments, industry, regional and international organizations. Just within the past month, some recent developments regarding GCA include:

  • Collaboration with the global initiative IMPACT (launched by Malaysian Prime Minister) which has offered its services and infrastructure to meet the goals of the GCA and offered to be one of the GCA
  • Discussions with leading Information Technology and Security companies for collaboration.
  • Requests from National Governments and Regional Organizations (e.g., African Union) for collaboration with ITU within the framework of the GCA
  • A second Patron for the GCA from Africa – President of Burkina Faso
  • Launch of the GCA Strategic Partnership Program

At the end of this meeting, it is my hope that the advice to be provided by the HLEG in the recommendations and Global strategic report will add to the momentum of this initiative and provide practical ways forward to addressing some of the challenges we face in building a more secure and safer information society for all nations and peoples.


I know that your time and energy are valuable and I greatly appreciate your effort in making the GCA what it is today.


I wish you a successful meeting and look forward to your conclusions.