President for collective global efforts to check abuse of cyberspace by terrorists, criminals

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WUZHEN, China, Dec 16 (APP): President Mamnoon Hussain Wednesday urged the need of collective global efforts to check the abuse of cyberspace by terrorists and criminals, having serious implications for international peace and security.

“Attacks against critical infrastructure and information systems, an abuse of cyberspace by terrorists and criminals are a growing global menace and that dark side of internet needs to be dealt collectively through collaborative efforts of global community,” he said.

The President expressed these views while speaking at the opening session of the 2nd World Internet Conference being held here at Wuzhen-a historic and scenic town in northern Zhejiang province of China.

He highlighted the abuse of internet and cyberspace and saidthe increase in incidents related to malicious use of ICTs in cyberspace was posing risks to users from individuals to states, adding, the growing menace had serious implications for international peace and security.

The President said Pakistan fully realized the potential of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) and was pursuing the vision of accelerated digitization to transform the country into a knowledge-based economy.

“We consider it (ICTs) as a key enabler to achieve efficiency, transparency, good governance and empowering the people,” he added.

The Conference, organized by the Cyberspace Administration of China and the Government of Zhejiang province, was also addressed by Chinese President Xi Jinping, and some other leaders including the Russian Prime Minister.

President Mamnoon Hussain said that Pakistan’s focus remained on development of ICT infrastructure across the country with special emphasis on serving marginalized segments of the society and bridging the digital divide.

“We believe in connectivity and inclusiveness for all. Special projects to empower women and girls through ICTs have been launched,” he added.

The President said that as the innovation in cyberspace had resulted in commercial, economic, cultural, and social opportunities for users, Pakistan being a progressive nation fully endorsed the global vision of seamless connectivity across the world.

“We are here together to deliberate on how to make our cyberspace more responsive to our needs, more secure and reliable in use, more robust in terms of technology and more conducive for promoting innovation,” he added.

The President said with the digital economy now a critically important and growing part of the global economy, internet connectivity had an intrinsic and positive correlation with economic growth and higher living standards.

“The economic impact of the internet, therefore, continues to drive innovation and investments in internet and related technologies,” he added.

The President said the cyberspace provided remarkable opportunities in the areas of e-health, e-education, e-agriculture, e-commerce, e-governance and myriad of other prospects that it created.

“The World Wide Web has made us more interconnected than at any time in human history,” he mentioned.

The President, however, stressed that to fully capture the inherent potential of the internet through safe and effective communication in the cyberspace, there was a need to engage with each other to build consensus around a set of agreed international protocols that ensured realization of an open, secure, and reliable cyberspace for the global community.

He said the principle of mutual respect and mutual trust held paramount importance in governance models particularly as they related to the Internet.

The President said Pakistan had followed the policy of free flow of information and open access to the internet, adding, “We will continue our support and assistance to initiatives aimed at achieving our shared goal of socio-economic development through safe and secure use of cyberspace.”

He said Pakistan supported China in holding this important conference and would continue to coordinate its policies with China in an effort to build a cyberspace community of shared destiny.

The President also called upon the Chinese entrepreneurs to explore Pakistan’s vibrant talent and its demographic potential to bring more breakthroughs in the world of cyberspace.

He congratulated the Cyberspace Administration of China and the Government of Zhejiang for successfully holding the 2nd World Internet Conference.

The President also lauded the efforts of President Xi for holding this conference, which he said would help understand some of the most critical issues relating to cyberspace and would help forge a path to shared destiny.

“The beautiful water town of Wuzhen perfectly encapsulates Chinese civilization, which has embraced modernity and technological progress while retaining traditional Chinese characteristics,” he remarked.