17 May 2006 From on-line banking to the benefits of telemedicine, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today called on the world community to enhance global security in cyberspace so as to realize the full potential of information and communication technologies (ICT) and accelerate the pace of development.
“In an increasingly interconnected and networked world, it has become critically important to safeguard our vital systems and infrastructures against attack by cybercriminals, while instilling confidence in online transactions in order to promote trade, commerce, banking, telemedicine, e-government and a host of other e-applications,” he said in a message marking the first World Information Society Day.
“As this depends on the security practices of each and every networked country, business and citizen, we need to develop a global culture of cybersecurity,” he added
He called on all Member States and stakeholders to help increase global awareness of cybersecurity, and to develop an international network of initiatives and ICT-based countermeasures to enhance security and build trust in the use of information and communication technologies.
“This is essential for the continued growth and development of our economies, and especially important for developing countries,” Mr. Annan said.
The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), held in Geneva in 2003 and Tunis in 2005, decided to mark the Day in recognition of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the world’s oldest international organization, which was founded on 17 May 1865 and is now a UN specialized agency.
Also today, Mr. Annan established a 46-member Advisory Group to assist him in convening the Internet Governance Forum for a dialogue among concerned participants on Internet governance, an outcome of the WSIS.
The Group members come from government, the private sector and civil society, including the academic and technical communities representing all regions of the world under the chairmanship of Nitin Desai, the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser for the WSIS.