ICTs have potential for the development of our countries

By: Wilfredo Gonzalez Vidal

Speech of the Deputy Minister of Communications of Cuba, Wilfredo González Vidal, in the plenary session of the Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance. S ão Paulo, April 23, 2014.

Mr. President:

We thank the Government of Brazil for hosting this meeting and we reiterate the acknowledgement of the President of Cuba at the last Second Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) for developing this initiative. We believe that it can boost the materialization of the decisions of the World Summit of the Information Society and help to achieve a model of international Internet governance fairer, safer and more suitable for everyone.

The Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) have the potential to provide new solutions to development problems, particularly in the context of globalization, and can foster economic growth, competitiveness, access to information and knowledge, poverty eradication and social inclusion.

That is why there is a pressing need to continue fighting to eliminate the obstacles that countries in development face in order to access to new technologies, such as insufficient resources, infrastructure, education, capacity, investment and connectivity, as well as those related to security, intellectual property and technology transfer.

In this sense, the debate is not new. It has been approached since the second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society in 2005, when it was agreed that "all governments should have an equal duty and responsibility for Internet governance..."

As our President accurately express at the Second Summit of CELAC and I quote ‘Another source of major concern, given its potential to create international conflicts, is the covert and illegal use by private individuals, organizations and States of the information systems of other nations to attack third countries.  Some governments have even suggested the possibility to respond to these attacks by using conventional weapons. The only way to prevent and cope with these new threats is through the joint cooperation of all States, which will be equally useful to prevent cyberspace from becoming a theater of military operations’, end of quote.

It is necessary to highlight the important role played by governments in the formulation of public policies that, while effectively responding to national needs and priorities, take advantage of information and communications technologies for the development of countries.

We believe that the proposed document is an essential basis for discussion and we hope that, after our analysis, it constitutes a step forward in the materialization of important aspects of the information society we are aiming for, a democratic and inclusive one. Moreover, we suggest that should be included, among others, the recognition of the need to effectively confront the obstacles and threats of the use of ICT for purposes inconsistent with the objective of maintaining international stability and security and that may adversely affect the integrity of the infrastructures of the states, to the detriment of their security.

There are several examples that illustrate the dire need to regulate and make appropriate use of the Internet. We could mention from the exposed analysis and espionage network of almost all communications worldwide, including the Heads of State and Government, to the project ZunZuneo recently unveiled by the news agency AP, project aimed at creating situations of destabilization in Cuba to bring about changes in our political system.

This new action is an example of aggression with the use of information and communication technologies, in flagrant violation of international law and the sovereignty of states.

It is our intention that this event concludes recognizing the importance of Internet governance as part of the implementation of policies that facilitate the development of the information society at the international level as well as the need to continue the debate on the corresponding regional and sub regional levels.

Mr. President:

You can count on our willingness to achieve the objectives of this meeting and we express a willingness to exchange and evaluate solutions satisfactory to all countries.

Thank you very much.

Taken from Granma