In my capacity of Ambassador of Switzerland to Romania, I am pleased to notice that the initiative to build an efficient dialogue platform in the domain of cyber security, launched in 2013 by the Swiss Webacademy, not only continues to reach its target, and in the meantime comes with new achievements in the field, realized with really amazing combination of quality, professionalism and quickness.
Among these new achievements, I would like to underline the printed and online quarterly magazine “Cybersecurity Trends”, launched in march by the SWA together with Agora.
I must stress that even in a country like Switzerland, we do not have such an important – and free of charge – media raising awareness on the hottest topics of the moment, addressed to the citizens as well as to the decision-makers in their own language. Moreover, its concept, nice-to-read articles made, like the congress, by the highest State authorities as well as with some of the most skilled Romanian and foreign specialists, is an unicum for Europe, as far as I know.
The second achievement is what I consider, as a diplomat, a model: the collaboration SWA started with an awarded NGO, the Foundation Saferinternet Poland, who edited extremely needed materials, nowadays available, thanks to the Polish Government and an EU support, in all Polish schools, on the net, and also by simple demand at the Foundation, for a printed version.
The challenge SWA undertook is to fully translate into Romanian the most important volume as well as three supplementary booklets, for citizens, parents, professors, teenagers and schoolchildren. The Romanian edition of those materials will be on the net since mid- September, and a first printed edition will be printed by the Sibiu County Council, to be distributed during the “Awareness day” organized to celebrate the opening of the third edition of Congress itself.
In a world were good practices are often neglected due to the lack of multilateral incubators, the ITU-stimulated cooperation between the SWA and its Polish partner, concretized, on the other hand, by the show in Warsaw of the Polish version of SWA’s exhibition “Social media victims and heroes, from hieroglyphs to Facebook” is the proof that good concepts do not need to be re-invented each time. They can simply and quickly be translated and adapted. This way of thinking and working makes each one of us to be conscious be part of a continent named Europe, where we can share much more than products and legal frameworks: values, education and rights.
Coming back to the 2015 edition of the Congress, the attempt to bring a “Swiss concept” adapted to Romanian skills and needs, the real core of the way the congress had been thought since the beginning by the Swiss Webacademy has proved to be successful. This year is bringing to Sibiu speakers and participants from even more nationalities or specializations than the very successful 2nd edition.
This essential dialogue between State and Private decision makers in an international atmosphere – a way of collaboration we are used to in Switzerland, by its traditions of consensus, federalism and neutrality – raised the interest of the highest national and global authorities in the field.
Highly ranked Romanian State officials from all competent Institutions are back, continuing marking the importance they attach to a dialogue with the civil society in such a crucial matter and to consider the Sibiu congress as a right place to do it.
I wish to express my sincere gratitude to the International Telecommunications Union for providing the congress a renewed technical support and a generous grant aimed at enlarging the circle of key-speakers to several EU countries. This decision, aimed to promote the congress to the rank of a macro-regional meeting, confirms again, in concert with all the international cyber-security events taking place in Bucharest this year, that Romania is one of the few EU places which can not be avoided in IT matters as it represents a very central country of a fast-growing region in this field.
I also address my warmest thanks to the SRI (CYBERINT Centre) as well as to the General Inspectorate of the Romanian Police (IGPR), which joined the 2015 Congress as partners and, together with the ITU, helped in choosing the topics, selecting international key speakers, picking and inviting the most relevant Romanian personalities, thus giving a major contribution to the way the 2015 edition is designed.
Last but not least, I would like to praise the amazing, constant and even constantly-growing help and support provided all year long by the Sibiu County Council. I consider it is an example of how a “local authority”, one of the very few in Europe, can decide to play a crucial role in such a vital domain for all the country, going much further that its “administrative boundaries”, and becoming the most precious help an NGO could need for organizing successfully the event.
Since the first year, even if not knowing, as I do, al the details of all the support provided to the congress, any participant could be only seduced by the touch of human warmth making the County Authorities and their top employees the perfect guests, creating the ideal atmosphere for discussions and networking.
In the constant attempt to encourage all the entrepreneurs and private decision-makers to participate in the conference, everything has been done to provide them in a simple way access to all the information they need directly from the best sources, according to a program, which will allow each participant to come back to his business with an impressive value-added knowledge.
I wish you a pleasant and productive meeting.
Ambassador of Switzerland to Romania
and Honorary President of the Swiss Webacademy