Today, a U.S. Government delegation led by Coordinator for Counterterrorism Ambassador Daniel Benjamin participated in the 12th annual meeting of the Organization of American States (OAS) Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism (CICTE), an entity that focuses on countering terrorist threats in the Western Hemisphere.
Today’s meeting, which focused on cybersecurity cooperation, featured a keynote address by Christopher Painter, the Coordinator for Cyber Issues at the U.S. Department of State, who commended the efforts of the OAS to build cybersecurity capacity in the hemisphere and pledged U.S. support for ongoing efforts.
The meeting marked an important step, not only in recognizing the work that the CICTE Secretariat has carried out, but also in examining how cybersecurity issues have evolved, changed, and grown in importance and visibility in the last decade. The outcome of today’s meeting will be a renewed commitment to open, secure and reliable cyber infrastructure in the Western Hemisphere. In addition to adopting the 2012 CICTE Declaration on Strengthening Cyber-Security in the Americas, CICTE adopted a new work plan with specific steps to enhance OAS members’ cyber capacity.
For 10 years CICTE has been critical in addressing cybersecurity on a hemispheric basis and its efforts have resulted not only in numerous countries developing comprehensive cybersecurity strategies, but in the development of a network of Computer Incident Response Teams throughout the region. The United States will continue to strongly support CICTE’s work in cybersecurity and looks forward to continued collaboration with the Secretariat.