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S. Korea: President at Cyberspace Conference: ‘World Should Close the Digital Divide’
Source: korea.net
Source Date: Friday, October 18, 2013
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government, Knowledge Management in Government
Country: Korea (Republic of)
Created: Oct 22, 2013

How can we have both “security” and “openness” in cyberspace at the same time? 

To find ways to make that happen, world leaders showed up in Seoul on October 17 and discussed pending cyberspace issues, including the growing rate of cyber crime and the emerging breaches of Internet security.

Attending the Seoul Conference on Cyberspace 2013 at COEX, they shared their thoughts on how to free cyberspace from any kind of security infringement, while at the same time keeping it accessible to everyone around the world.

The two-day convention started with an opening ceremony attended by some 1,600 representatives from 87 countries, including Korean President Park Geun-hye, British Foreign Secretary William Jefferson Hague and Hungarian Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi, along with leaders from international bodies, such as the Secretary General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Hamadoun Touré.


In her congratulatory remarks, President Park Geun-hye hoped that the Seoul conference would contribute to the sharing of various experiences and visions. The conference will lead to global prosperity through an open and secure Internet, she said, and would also take us in the direction of a creative economy.

The Korean leader called digital marginalization and the digital divide, still-prevalent issues that keep more than 4 billion people worldwide off the Internet while others enjoy its benefits, “important tasks that should be dealt with immediately.” 

In this regard, the international community should come up with more practical countermeasures against the widening gap, the president said, with the hope that this conference will help more diverse and creative entrepreneurs build better information and communications technology (ICT) capability in developing nations. 

“The more the Internet develops, the more cyberspace crimes --such as the leaking of personal information, spam and malicious code-- pose a threat to our security,” President Park said. “A concerted effort should be made to put international regulations and principles in place which will help tackle such threats, prevalent in cyberspace, while ensuring maximum Internet accessibility.”

She also asked that more concrete and rational measures be put forth to allow creative ideas and businesses to flow across cyberspace more freely. The world should come together to find solutions through global cooperation and networking, she said.

“The ‘creative economy’ backed by IT, creative ideas, and cyberspace can lead to job creation and more venture start-ups, revitalizing the world economy as well as the Korean economy,” the president emphasized. 

Other leaders also voiced the need for the international community to join forces to make cyberspace more secure. 

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivered a video message, “We all have been making efforts to make cyberspace a secure and open place, but any single country cannot realize that alone. We all should join forces to make the Internet a platform where people share their opinions in a free manner.”

British Foreign Secretary William Jefferson Hague acknowledged that despite differences among countries on key cyber issues, the global community should seek ways to build trust to jointly counter any cyber threats and enjoy the economic benefits of the Internet. 

Meanwhile, Hungarian Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi explained, “It is imperative that we continue to cooperate with various stakeholders to make cyberspace a safer place with infinite opportunities.” 

“This Seoul cyberspace conference will serve as a stepping stone to realizing a more secure, more accessible and more affordable global network,” said UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in his congratulatory remarks via video.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Seoul Conference on Cyberspace 2013, with a larger and more diverse attendance than ever before, will lay the foundation for enhanced international cooperation on cyberspace. 

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