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WSIS seminar urges for ICT collaboration and cybersecurity common standards

Enhancing Digital Trust is a Shared Responsibility

WSIS seminar urges for ICT collaboration and cybersecurity common standards

Panelists included executives from GSMA, AICTO, UAE Computer Emergency Response Team (aeCERT), Mobily, and stc Group

Dubai, UAE – 25th May, 2023: The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) seminar titled “Enhance Digital Trust for a Sustainable, Connected, Intelligent World”, sponsored by Huawei and held during the SAMENA Council Leaders’ Summit 2023, concluded that digital transformation will only realize its potential social and economic benefits if responsibilities are shared by different stakeholders with specific roles. The seminar explored the opportunities and challenges posed by ICT and digital transformation. Leaders from the Arab ICT Organisation, GSMA, Huawei, International Telecommunications Union (ITU), UAE Government, the UAE Computer Emergency Response, Mobily and stc Group called for multi-stakeholder collaboration including governments, policymakers, industry associations, academia, corporations and civil society to play their part to support ICT development.

During the opening ceremony of the SAMENA Council Leaders’ Summit 2023, His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahyan, UAE Cabinet Member and Minister for Tolerance and Coexistence called for responsibility within the ICT industry as the industry develops and said: “In UAE, we share the aspiration of having a digital world that is sustainable, secure and meets present and future needs, committed to satisfying best international standards and ready to promote community engagement and support in all countries around the world.”

In his keynote address to the WSIS Seminar, Mr. Adel Mohamed Darwish, Director, ITU Regional Office for the Arab States stated: “Digital trust and confidence in the use of new ICT is crucial and a multi stakeholder effort. No single entity can address the range of challenges on their own. This includes adopting national cybersecurity strategies, establishing national incident response readiness and responsibility, and developing international security standards.”

Security and trust are crucial to ensuring online access and trusted exchanges of data and information. However, with digitalization comes new cybersecurity challenges. During the seminar, a panel of industry leaders discussed how supportive policies are important to encourage development in areas that may seem less attractive to carriers such as remote area infrastructure as well as the need to set a cybersecurity baseline with common standards to secure digital transformation. There was consensus that approaches to building digital trust should be fact-based and that the best way to achieve this is through verifiable, common standards. Panelists included Dr. Azzouz, Senior Expert in ICT Industry; Mr. Jawad Jalal Abbassi, Head of Middle East & North Africa, GSMA; Eng. Mohamed Ben Amor, AICTO Director General; Mr. Adel Al Mehairi, Director, UAE Computer Emergency Response Team (aeCERT); Eng. Alaa A. Malki, CTO, Mobily, and Eng. Haithem M. Alfaraj, Group Chief of Technology Officer, stc Group.

Mr. Jawad Jalal Abbassi, Head of Middle East & North Africa, GSMA highlighted the core issue saying “A major challenge remains in the usage gap that 400 million people around the world still not near enough to a mobile network. There are 3.2 billion people who are able to connect to a mobile network, but still not using the internet. Imagine the economic and social benefits of enrolling 4.2 billion people in using digital technology, which is the biggest impetus to tackle the issue.”

Eng. Mohamed Ben Amor, AICTO Director General responded that “ICT development needs good policies, especially for less developed countries.” Dr. El-Sayed Azzouz, Senior Consultant in ICT Industry shared “The key recommendation for ICT and digital trust building is to have official intervention to boost collaboration, investment, education and plus common standards for cybersecurity, which gives the ecosystem a clear baseline to follow.” Eng. Adel Rashed Almehairi, Director of aeCERT at TDRA summed up digital trust by saying “It’s like a coin has two sides, one side is the users, and the other side is the government, the digital service providers, and the telecom operators and ICT vendors. All these different entities need to collaborate and share responsibility to develop governance protocols, policies, procedures that can guide responsible use of technology.”

In her remarks, Ms. Nora Cao, Vice President of Global Government Affairs, Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd proposed an approach for overcoming the challenges faced by governments and private-sector stakeholders called the ‘AIDE framework’ which covers Access, Innovation, Development and Environment to promote digital inclusion, skills and create sustainable growth.

The WSIS “Enhance Digital Trust for a Sustainable, Connected, Intelligent World” seminar, which was sponsored by Huawei, concluded that digital multi-stakeholder collaboration is essential in order have a structure that creates an open and transparent environment for the sustainable development of ICT and connectivity.


Source: Huawei Press Release