First Lady Seeks Global Effort to Protect Youths in Cyberspace

patience_jonathan 600The First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, has stated that global collaboration is imperative in addressing the threatening effects on the moral and physical safety of children as a result of online use. The First Lady made this statement at the opening ceremony of the 2BYND 2015 Global Youth Summit” holding in San Jose, Costa Rica.

She noted that as many more people continue to join the growing list of internet users, it has become apparent that the internet commands global audience with vast benefits. She described the internet as one of the “greatest inventions of mankind which has changed the way we communicate, conduct business and socialize.”

While giving out the current statistics on the negative aspects of internet use, Dame Patience also gave suggestions on how opinion leaders and policy makers could help to ensure a more safe and secure cyber space to include: Widespread advocacy, youth enlightenment, good mentorship, appropriate parental control, training of youths as online protection ambassadors, as well as regular consultations with young people.

Speaking at the Summit, the President of Costa Rica, Madam Laura Chinchilla, called for the ethical use of the internet to guarantee a better future for all. She advised that digital technology “must not be seen as a threat, but as a hope.”

In his own remarks, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Secretary General, Dr. Hamadoun Toure, observed that the Summit would send a strong message to world leaders about the power of technology. He also explained the importance of digital inclusion, noting that there are some communities were young children have no access to the internet. He disclosed that global youths are requesting for affordable ICT and ICT innovations that will create more job opportunities for them.

The United Nation (UN) Secretary General who was represented by his Special Envoy on Youth, Mr. Ahmad Alhindawi, posited that ICT must be used to enrich lives.

The First Lady who is the ITU-IMPACT Child Online Champion (COP), had earlier held a closed door meeting with the President of Costa Rica who is the ITU Global Patron for Child Online Protection.

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