Launch of the U.S.-Colombia Information and Communications Technology Steering Group

Joint Statement
U.S. Embassy
Bogota, Colombia
August 1, 2014

Colombia and the United States successfully launched the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Steering Group on July 31 in Bogotá, Colombia. The U.S.-Colombia ICT Steering Group was created in February 2014 as a result of the commitment of U.S. President Obama and Colombian President Santos to expand bilateral cooperation in ICT to promote economic development, reduce inequality, and enrich the lives of citizens in both countries.

The participants, representing a wide range of government agencies and private sector stakeholders from both countries, discussed a number of key ICT issues, including technical training, innovation, internet governance and cyber security, as well as reaching underserved communities and providing e-government services. They discussed the ongoing importance of the bilateral relationship, especially as both sides work together in the Americas and internationally to seek common approaches in internet governance, and international cyber security. Thus, the work of the ICT Steering Group will directly support our shared goal to promote an international information and communications infrastructure that is open, interoperable, reliable, secure, and beneficial to the most isolated and economically deprived communities.

Minister Diego Molano Vega of the Ministry of Information Technologies and Communications and Ambassador Daniel A. Sepulveda, U.S. Coordinator for International Communications and Information Technology, U.S. Department of State, headed their respective delegations.

The Colombian government was also represented by senior officials from the Ministry of Information Technologies and Communications; the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the Embassy of Colombia in Washington; the Colombian Commercial Office in Washington; the Ministry of Defense; the Ministry of Justice; the National Police Cyber Center; the Department for Social Prosperity; the Communications Regulation Commission and the Cyber Emergency Response Team (ColCERT). The Colombian industrial and higher education sectors were also represented.

The U.S. Delegation included Christopher M. Painter, U.S. Coordinator for Cyber Issues, Department of State; Angela Simpson, Deputy Assistant Secretary, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, Department of Commerce; and Mindel De La Torre, Chief, International Bureau, Federal Communications Commission. Officials from the U.S. Embassy in Bogota and the Foreign Commercial Service also participated.

The private sector was represented by Apple, CA Technologies, Google, Microsoft, Oracle, and Qualcomm.

The two delegations identified several areas of follow-up in preparation for the next meeting to be hosted by the U.S. Government in six months.