Thursday, November 13, 2008

ITU to Increase Focus on CyberSecurity, Climate Change

In an address to the 63rd Session of ITU Council, which is currently underway in Geneva, ITU Secretary-General, Dr Hamadoun Touré urged the ICT sector to do more to ensure cyber security and to leverage telecommunications technology for the protection of the world's climate.

For the past year, the ITU has hosted a High-Level Experts Group (HLEG) which has developed proposals to promote cybersecurity. The ITU is now moving into its operational phase and is undertaking a partnership in conjunction with IMPACT -- the International Multilateral Partnership Against Cyber-Threats -- hosted by the Government of Malaysia, which will put a global early warning system at the disposal of all Member States.

The Child Online Protection (COP) initiative is a vitally important project that will protect one of the most vulnerable groups online by providing valuable guidance on safe online behaviour, in conjunction with other UN agencies and partners. Companies including Intel, Microsoft and Telecom Italia have also pledged their support. Organizations, such as the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA), the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and the GSM Association are also backing the initiative.

The ITU is mainstreaming the issue of how ICTs can help prevent and avert climate change. Touré said there is a strong role for ITU in standards for energy efficiency of the ICT equipment on which our digital economy depends. The Resolution passed recently at the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA) in Johannesburg encourages ITU Member States to work towards reductions in Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions arising from the use of ICTs, in line with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. ITU aims to achieve climate neutrality for its operations within three years.

The ITU said its efforts to combat climate change will also include an effort to identify the necessary radio-frequency spectrum for climate monitoring and disaster prediction, detection and relief, including a promising cooperation with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in the field of remote-sensing applications.http://www.itu.int

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