The 6th Regional Internet Governance Forum (RIGF) is taking place together with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) within the framework of the International Cyber Security Week held for the first time in Azerbaijan by the Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies on March 11 - 15, 2019.
The Forum is dedicated to the theme “Cyber Security: Our common responsibility.”
Prior to the opening of the Regional Internet Governance Forum, Minister of Transport, Communications and High Technologies Ramin Guluzade, Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations, Assistant Administrator of UNDP and Director of the UNDP Regional Bureau for Europe and the CIS Mirjana Spoljaric Egger, head of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Regional Office for the CIS countries Kirill Oparin visited Cyber Village, where local and international companies’ products and services are presented.
The main purpose of the forum is to demonstrate the different ways of using the Internet to achieve more efficient, effective regional economic development and cultural progress. The forum is a platform for sharing experiences and strengthening cooperation between local participants and international experts, jointly discussing the current situation, assigned tasks in this field, issues of integration into relevant international organizations, as well as demonstrating interesting innovative projects.
Authorized representative of the government, business, diplomatic corps, academia, civil society, and the Internet community are involved in the discussions.
It should be noted that Azerbaijan is an active organizer and participant of the Internet Governance Forum. Along with the organization of the 7th Internet Governance Forum in Baku in 2012, the Regional Internet Governance Forum is held annually in our country.
Speaking at the forum, Minister of Transport, Communications and High Technologies Ramin Guluzade said that the Government of Azerbaijan has been cooperating with the United Nations Development Programme for about 20 years. The agency supports many projects in the field of information and communication technologies.
“National Strategy for the development of Information and Communication Technologies in the Republic of Azerbaijan (2003-2012)”, approved by National Leader Heydar Aliyev in 2003, was developed within the joint project with the United Nations Development Programme. Also, AzDataCom network, which is of great importance to our country, the establishment of the first TIER-3 Data Center in the region is the result of the joint activities. These projects have made a great contribution to sustainable development in our country. Today, we continue our cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme. “Knowledge Economy – Azerbaijan’s Innovation Roadmap” developed within the framework of joint cooperation, is very important for us. We are happy with the joint holding of startup tours “From Idea to Business”, which are organized as part of this project, as well as the creation of robotics labs in schools.”
Touching upon the cooperation of Azerbaijan with the International Telecommunication Union, the Minister recalled that last year in elections held within the framework of the plenipotentiary conference of the organization, Azerbaijan was re-elected to the ITU Council, and also for the first time to the ITU Radio Regulations Board.
“Last year, cyber security trainings were held for the first time in the region with the support of the Regional Office of the International Telecommunication Union. Representatives from 14 countries attended the event. The activities of both organizations are directly related to the theme of today’s forum. Global Internet Governance Forums have been held since 2006 are just the initiative of the International Telecommunication Union.”
The Minister emphasized that the forum was not accidentally chosen as the main event of the Cyber Security Week. He noted that today modern technologies, the Internet play an irreplaceable role in the development of people, society and the state.
“They have created new opportunities for development in education, health, trade, media, employment and many other areas. Internet applications, social networks have become a form of modern means of communication between people. Thanks to the Internet, an open and transparent system of governance was formed, the relationship between the citizen and the state received a new content.
However, along with this, the development has also created serious problems for cyber security in the world. New types of technological crime have emerged, their geography and scope have been expanded. The number of cybercrime is increasing year after year.”
Ramin Guluzade stressed that along technological development in our country, cyber security issues are in the spotlight. He said that the “Cyber security strategy of the Republic of Azerbaijan (2019-2024)” has been developed and is in the process of approval.
The Minister noted that the Internet Governance Forum, gathering all interested parties, plays an important role in discussing existing issues at the national, regional and global levels.
Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations, Assistant Administrator of UNDP and Director of the UNDP Regional Bureau for Europe and the CIS Mirjana Spoljaric Egger said that this forum opens up ways for important discussions about the future of the Internet. “At the same time, the forum in accordance with the principle of “leave no one behind” provides new opportunities for changing the lives of ordinary people for the better, developing new generation management methods, exploring the potential of Internet technologies, and also creates large and accessible management platforms for everyone.”
Head of the ITU Regional Office for the CIS countries Kirill Oparin made a speech at the event. He also spoke about the importance of the forum. Stressing the fruitful cooperation of Azerbaijan with the International Telecommunication Union in all areas, the head of the department said that the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan pays great attention and provides support to the field of information and communication technologies and innovations.
The participants of the event were shown a video message from Chengetai Masango, Programme and Technology Manager at United Nations Secretariat for the Internet Governance Forum.
Then the forum continued its work with sessions on such topics as “Regional Cyber Security Issues”, “International Experience in the sphere of Cyber Security”, “Innovative Cyber Security Solutions”, and “Secure Internet for Children”.