The Organization of American States and the Uruguayan civil association High Technology Training Center for Latin America and the Caribbean (CCAT-LAT) this week signed a Memorandum of Understanding to promote cyber security culture and internet governance in the Hemisphere.
Since 2009, the South-American civil association has been implementing the “South School on Internet Governance” project (SSIG), whose goal is to train new opinion leaders in matters related to internet governance, with a global perspective and with special emphasis on the Latin America and Caribbean context.
The signing took place in the seventh meeting of the South School on Internet Governance, which took place this week in San José, Costa Rica. Organized with the support of the Superintendence of Telecommunications (SUTEL) and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Telecommunications (MICITT) of Costa Rica, the event brought together more than 150 participants from the region, including government officials, academics, and representatives of the private sector, the technical community and civil society.
The Secretary General of the OAS, José Miguel Insulza, expressed hope that “this agreement is a sign of our commitment to promote a hemispheric culture of cyber security, which is essential at this point in time.” Secretary General Insulza also recalled that during the last Summit of the Americas, various heads of state expressed the importance of promoting a more democratic and participatory form of internet governance.
Meanwhile, the Secretary for Multidimensional Security of the OAS, Adam Blackwell, pointed out that cyber security plays a key role in regional and international dialogue, and that the OAS is addressing this issue with a participatory approach in which governments are encouraged to “build bridges between the private sector and civil society to work together for a safer region.”
Additionally, Oscar Messano, President of CCAT-LAT and the Latin America and Caribbean Network Information Centre (LACNIC), expressed appreciation for the vote of confidence from the OAS in his organization, while recognizing the efforts the hemispheric institution has been making to bring together representatives from government, the private sector, academia, civil society and the technical community.
Furthermore, the Executive Director of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), Fadi Chehade, celebrated the initiative and expressed the interest of his institution in establishing a similar agreement with the regional organization in the coming weeks. Similarly, Chehade highlighted the important role the OAS has played in recent years in promoting cyber security initiatives at the regional level.
As host of the event, the acting head of MICITT of Costa Rica, Carolina Vásquez Soto said that holding the event in the country “has increased the involvement of different actors in internet governance.” She also highlighted the support provided by the Cyber Security Program of the OAS to her country in developing its National Cyber Security Strategy and other efforts related to building the capacities of the National Cyber Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT).
The OAS tackles cyber security issues based on a flexible and dynamic approach, which adjusts cyber security policies and the provision of technical assistance according to new trends and emerging needs. Over the years, the OAS Cyber Security Program has evolved to meet challenges through a multifaceted approach, establishing action plans to fit each country’s specific needs.
For more information, please visit the OAS Website at www.oas.org.