The issue of digital security has acquired renewed focus by stakeholders all around the world, given the menace of terrorism and its fallout on a global scale. Anusha Rehman Khan, Pakistan’s Information Technology Minister also noted the need for enhanced cooperation among states to strengthen information and communication technologies (ICTs) and their security at the United Nations today.
Impact of ICTs on Security Cam Under Discussion at the UN
She raised this issue at the UN General Assembly, which was deliberating on how ICT has come along in the last decade since the historic 2005 World Summit. According to her:
Use of cyberspace by criminals and terrorists cannot be permitted and we, as responsible members of the global community, must ensure that such elements do not operate in cyberspace to further their nefarious designs. – Information Technology Minister Anusha Rehman Khan
Anusha Rehman was recently conferred with GEM-Tech Global Achievers Award in recognition of her efforts to empower womenfolk through the use of ICTs. The event was hosted by United Nations Agencies UN Women and ITU.
World Leaders Speak Out for ICTs Role in Combating Global Security Threats
In opening remarks, Mogens Lykketoft, General Assembly President, said that:
Since the 2005 World Summit, when leaders had declared a common desire and commitment to build a people-centered, inclusive and development-oriented information society, huge progress had been made in the information and communications technology (ICT) field. However, challenges remained, such as the digital divides among countries, as well as Internet security and human rights issues. – Mogens Lykketoft
His sentiments were also echoed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, stating that even though 80 percent houses in developed countries had internet connectivity, some 2 out of 3 households in developing countries did not. 200 million fewer women than men also didn’t have access to ICTs, which is why Mr. Ban stressed for the need to bridge this digital divide in the targets set for 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Challenge for Pakistan Regarding ICTs and Security
Mrs. Rehman believes that ICT is driving Pakistan’s economic growth, thanks to advances in broadband proliferation through legislative and policy frameworks. Economic as well as social opportunities are available to Pakistani users due to access of the digital infrastructure.
That being said, new challenges have surfaced in the form of security and safety trends. She stated that “the concerns over safety and security potentially impede the objective of accelerated development and affect the confidence of people in using applications and services offered to traverse the cyberspace.”
This is why she believes that building the capacity for countries that lack expertise in this matter is essential in achieving global deterrence against such threats. Mrs. Rehman vowed to support and assist initiatives taken in this regard for realizing the goal of socio-economic development through safe and secure use of ICTs.