International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Geneva, Switzerland

International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Geneva, Switzerland

Cybersecurity is the 21st century main challenge for everybody, from the biggest state institutions to the individual persons. Never, threats and dangers have been so numerous, diverse and global, potentially targeting almost everyone and everywhere.

In my capacity of Cybersecurity Coordinator within the International Telecommunication Union, I took part to the birth of this very special public-private dialogue platform, in September 2013.

I had then the pleasure to witness the general interest generated by the initiative launched by the Swiss Webacademy under the aegida of the Embassy of Switzerland in Romania, with very highly ranked Romanian officials showing by their presence and speeches the openness of the highest levels of the State to collaborate actively with the private sector in this vital topic.

This has been a crucial indicator for me to motivate an ITU technical but also a financial assistance, devoted to bring to Sibiu top analysts, mainly from the neighbouring countries, allowing the congress to grow macro-regional and to become, hopefully, a yearly benchmark for the whole Central and Southern European areas.

At the time I write the present, the number of the speakers announced, the diversity of institutions and companies represented, the 26 nations attending through state bodies or private firms will certainly make the 2014 edition an extremely important opportunity of exchanges, dialogues, debates and, probably, will allow thinking about new collaborations or initiatives.

The ITU deepest gratitude goes first to our partner, the CERT-RO, who worked without rest all the last months together with the organizers to be sure every Romanian state institution implied in this complex problematic will be represented at Sibiu at the highest level.

The CERT-RO already proved its energy and professionalism by being one of the first, together with its partners within the Romanian administration, to provide the ITU the complete country documentation for one of our most important projects, the Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) (http://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Cybersecurity/Pages/GCI.aspx).

Coupled with the huge growth of the Romanian IT sector, both in quality and quantity, in the last years, it is a clear signal that Romania is very well positioned to contribute to the dialogue on global collaboration on cybersecurity and support the existing UN’s efforts in this direction.

I would also like to thank the Swiss Embassy in Romania for its constant patronage of the initiative, a diplomatic premise of neutrality and objectivity for the debates.

Moreover, I express my deepest gratitude to the Sibiu County Council and to the Sibiu “Lucian Blaga” University for their huge support to the event, in logistics, mediatisation, hospitality and generosity. I can witness it is very rare to see local administrations and universities to be so active in helping – in facts and not in words – major cybersecurity initiatives.

Last but not least, Swiss Webacademy, the professional web-learning NGO, proved that even a 5-people team can achieve such an amazing meeting, supplying notoriety or finances with heart, human energy and human relations. It deserves our respect and is a perfect example of how, against one of the most important dangers for our society, a few men and women with a good and serious project can sometimes generate an initiative which would have taken much more time and complexity if created by a state body or a multinational company.

With regrets not to be able to take part to this year edition, but with the certitude my colleague Mrs. Rosheen Awotar-Mauree, will adequately represent the ITU due to her experience in managing state strategies.

I wish you a very pleasant and productive meeting.

Marco Obiso
International Telecommunication Union (ITU),  Geneva, Switzerland