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SRSG joins youth leaders in the Beyond 2015 Global Youth Summit during which safety online was addressed

Special Representative of the Secretary General on Violence against Children Ms. Marta Santos Pais joined a Global Youth Summit on the use of new technologies, in which more than 700 youth leaders from different parts of the world and over 3000 online participants took part. Held from 9 to 11 September, 2013, the Summit was convened by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), and hosted in San Jose by the Government of Costa Rica.

"Today's children and youth grow up in a world where information and communications technologies are part of daily life and they are impressive experts in this area. ICTs bring enormous benefits and opportunities for education, socialization and entertainment; they promote creativity and innovation, support decision-making and enhance social networks. But these technologies can also generate risks for children's protection from violence and abuse," stressed the Special Representative. "Empowering and protecting children in the online world are two sides of the same coin. We need to listen, learn and join hands with children and young people to build an inclusive, safe and secure interconnected world," she added.

The Special Representative joined the session "Be Smart, Be Safe" opened by the President of Costa Rica, the ITU Secretary-General and the First Lady of Nigeria.

During the debate, young leaders presented strategic recommendations to address risks posed by ICTs in an innovative, systematic and strategic manner. As noted by a youth representative, "It is better to be safe than sorry". Young leaders called for information, education and support to be smart and safe and urged educational institutions and digital content creators to help them in this process. They also made a strong call to continued dialogue with all actors of the international community, including the UN system, Member States, the corporate sector, families and educational institutions to make online communities safe and secure.

Online potential and protection is a priority for the SRSG mandate and a topic she will pursue with crucial allies, to build upon positive and creative experiences and initiatives and minimize risks associated with the use of new technologies.

Read the original story on the SRSG's website.