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ICTs for a Sustainable World #ICT4SDG

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

High Level Dialogue on Confidence and Security in Cyberspace

19 May 2011, Geneva, Switzerland


Distinguished colleagues,
Ladies and gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure to be here with you this morning for the High Level Dialogue on Confidence and Security in Cyberspace.

As the UN specialized agency for ICTs, ITU’s mission is to connect the world and to bring the benefits of ICTs to all the world’s people.

Quite extraordinary progress has been made in the past decade, and basic connectivity has been brought to the remotest corners of the planet, with well over five billion mobile cellular subscriptions globally, and a television set in more than 1.4 billion of the world’s 1.8 billion households.

We now need to do the same job for the Internet, and bring the benefits of the broadband revolution to everyone, wherever they live and whatever their circumstances. This is why we launched the Broadband Commission for Digital Development at the WSIS Forum last year, with UNESCO.

ICTs remain the best tool we have for advancing social and economic progress – and accelerating progress towards the MDGs. But increased connectivity of course brings its own problems, and notably the need to assure global public confidence and security in the use of ICTs.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Cybersecurity was a hot topic during the Tunis phase of WSIS, and ITU’s concrete response was to launch the Global Cybersecurity Agenda in 2007, as a global framework for international cooperation.

More recently, we are proud to have forged a strong and highly supportive relationship with IMPACT – the International Multilateral Partnership Against Cyber-Threats.

As the world’s first comprehensive alliance against cyberthreats, IMPACT is the key organization fulfilling ITU’s cybersecurity mandate in an operational sense, providing our 192 Member States with access to expertise, facilities and resources to effectively address cyberthreats, as well as assisting UN bodies in protecting their ICT infrastructures.

Already more than 130 countries are now formally part of the ITU-IMPACT operational deployment, and I would encourage all remaining Member States and UN bodies to join this global endeavour, so that they too may benefit from the services and capabilities provided.

Distinguished colleagues,

ITU has always been a firm believer in the power of partnerships, and cybersecurity is no exception. As well as the ITU-IMPACT partnership, we are also joining forces with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to collaborate globally on assisting Member States in mitigating the risks posed by cybercrime.

We have also signed an MoU with Symantec Corporation, which will provide ITU with expert intelligence reports on current and future trends in ICT security, to be shared amongst all ITU Member States.

Finally, we are also seeing tangible and positive results from another joint initiative being led by ITU, in the shape of the Child Online Protection initiative, which falls within the GCA.

With our new patron, President Chinchilla of Costa Rica, our COP initiative is now working to transform the COP guidelines released at the end of 2009 into concrete activities which will deliver significant national benefits – such as the development of national strategies on child online protection; the establishment of national hotlines; or the development of interoperable standards and related recommendations to protect children online.

As we pursue our dialogue this morning, let’s look at other ways we can partner together to make the online a world a safer place for all – and build a fair and equitable information society.

Thank you.