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Internet: First Lady Seeks Global Effort to Protect Youths

First Lady, Mrs Patience Jonathan

The First Lady, Mrs Patience Jonathan, says global collaboration is imperative in addressing the threatening effects on the moral and physical safety of children by the internet.

This is contained in a statement signed by Ayotunde Adesugba, a Director of Information in the Presidency on Tuesday in Abuja.

The statement quotes Jonathan as saying this at the opening ceremony of the ``BYND 2015 Global Youth Summit” holding in San Jose, Costa Rica.

The First Lady said that as many more people continue to join the growing list of internet users, it has become apparent that it 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 socialise.

''Opinion leaders and policy makers could help to ensure a more safe and secure cyber space.

''Widespread advocacy, youth enlightenment, good mentorship, appropriate parental control, training of youths as online protection ambassadors, as well as regular consultations with young people, should be engaged in guiding the young ones as they surf the net.''

The President of Costa Rica, Madam Laura Chinchilla, also speaking at the Summit, called for the ethical use of the Internet to guarantee a better future for all.

''Digital technology must not be seen as a threat, but as a hope,'' Chinchilla said.

In his 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.

Toure explained the importance of ''digital inclusion'', noting that there are some communities where young children have no access to the internet.
''Globally, youths are requesting for affordable ICT and ICT innovations that will create more job opportunities for them,'' he said.

The UN Secretary General who was represented by his Special Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhindawi, in a goodwill message said that ICT must be used to ''enrich lives''.

The statement stated that the First Lady, who is the ITU 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.