Ambassador Lomellin stressed that “cyber security is a key area of interest for all of our governments,” as “attacks on information and communications infrastructure could potentially cause major damage to key sectors of the U.S. and global economy.”
Remarks by Ambassador Carmen Lomellin
October 19, 2012
Good Morning. Mr. Secretary General, Ambassador Blackwell, Chair of CICTE Ambassador Vielmann, Chairman of the World Economic Forum-USA Mr. Jean Pierre-Rosso, Executive Director of the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate Mr. Mike Smith, CICTE Executive Secretary Neil Klopfenstein, Distinguished Ambassadors, other honored guests, thank you for being here today.
It is a great pleasure to say a few words on behalf of the United States regarding the important work that the Organization of American States is doing in the realm of cyber security – and especially exciting to be a part of this demonstration of some of the capabilities of the new cyber mobile laboratory developed by OAS/CICTE, which the United States has supported.
President Obama has said that the “cyber threat is one of the most serious economic and national security challenges we face as a nation” and affirmed that “America’s economic prosperity in the 21st century will depend on cyber security.”
Of course, cyber security is a key area of interest for all our governments. Attacks on information and communications infrastructure could potentially cause major damage to key sectors of the U.S. and global economy, such as energy, banking and finance, and public health and safety. Indeed, we experience numerous attempts at cyber intrusions in many of these sectors – and on our government networks – daily.
We are all aware that cyber security is not just an issue for certain countries in the Hemisphere. Cybercrime is a transnational threat, along with terrorism and terrorists’ use of the Internet, and cyber security is an increasing concern in the Western Hemisphere, especially since our hemisphere has one of the fastest growth rates of Internet usage in the world.
Within the Western Hemisphere, CICTE plays a critical role in the coordination of cyber security initiatives, including capacity building and facilitating regional cooperation.
The CICTE Cyber Security program has become a key forum in the Americas for debate and the exchange of ideas about current and future cyber security trends. The United States has supported and will continue to support this program. It has provided a solid foundation for collaboration among countries on these issues, creating a valuable way for Member States to interact on this subject.
We are particularly pleased to have contributed towards this specific project: an innovative and specialized cyber mobile laboratory to be used for the implementation of cyber security “Crisis Management Exercises” across the Hemisphere. We anticipate that this cyber mobile lab will provide the OAS with new flexibility in conducting consistent, cutting-edge training and exercises in countries across the Hemisphere, regardless of existing cyber capabilities.
We believe that it can play an important role in improving the entire Hemisphere’s preparedness against cyber attacks. It has already been used in exercises in Bogota, Colombia, and will continue to be used in various countries throughout the Hemisphere for training. It is through ongoing regional programs such as these – and innovative new tools such as the cyber mobile lab –that we will continually strengthen our joint efforts in the realm of cyber security.
In closing, we want to thank the Secretariat for Multidimensional Security, the Department of Information and Technology Services, and the CICTE Secretariat for their great work and ongoing commitment to improving cyber security throughout the Hemisphere. Again, thank you very much to all of you for coming, and I hope this demonstration provides a window into the great work the OAS is doing in this critical and constantly-evolving area.
See Also: OAS Press Release