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

ITU TELECOM WORLD 2009: Cybersecurity Session, COP Certificates
Geneva, Switzerland
6 October 2009

Distinguished guests,
Ladies and gentlemen,

We are here this afternoon to celebrate a quite extraordinary achievement.

That achievement is the creation and publication of the Child Online Protection guidelines.

And I would like to offer my personal thanks to each and every person who has been involved in the process: thank you, all.

It was clear, when we launched the Child Online Protection initiative last year, that we would absolutely need to take a global approach in dealing with a global issue.

Just as we have taken a global approach with the ITU’s Global Cybersecurity Agenda, of which COP is a key part.

The GCA, and within it, COP, depends not just on the support and goodwill of governments and international organizations, but also on the private sector and NGOs in a big way. So I am grateful for your support, whatever your background, and whatever your particular involvement.

At ITU we have a long history – going back well over a century – of brokering agreements between different parties, and I am particularly proud of the work that has been done by so many different partners in creating the COP guidelines.

And not just the work. I am also proud to have witnessed the passion, the heart and soul, and the enthusiasm which has gone into this work.

The process has been constructive, transparent, collaborative and – perhaps most importantly – effective. Let it continue to be so!

Over a period of several months the feedback collected, comments made, and consultations solicited were all integrated into these guidelines, which will now be updated each year, so that they can be a living tool.


The guidelines now need to be implemented, and we are actively seeking the support of COP members and the international community (governments, educators and parents) to localize them.

Essential as they are, the guidelines are effectively a blueprint that needs to be adapted to local conditions and norms. Whether that’s in the developing or developed world.

We are also seeking your active support in raising child online protection on the UN agenda, and would very much like to see a resolution on the table at the next General Assembly.

I would therefore especially like to thank CHIS, GSMA, Interpol, Save The Children, UNICEF, UNICRI and UNODC, who have worked very closely with ITU to foster COP – along, of course, with all of the other members who produced these guidelines.

It is a unique achievement, and it now gives me great pleasure to present certificates to each of the contributing entities present here today:

Thank you.