ID4Africa have announced that the European Association for Biometrics (EAB) and the Secure Identity Alliance (SIA), as well as the Silicon Trust, have joined the campaign that it had initiated with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) at the 4thAnnual Meeting of the ID4Africa Movement on 24 April 2018, in Abuja, Nigeria. The campaign calls for the recognition of September 16 as International Identity Day in tribute to Sustainable Development Goal 16.9 which calls for legal identity for all by 2030. The initiative had already been enthusiastically received by the attendees of the Annual Meeting resulting in the collection of more than 1500 signatures representing over 80 countries worldwide.
The call for recognition of an Identity Day is a global initiative as identity plays an increasingly important role worldwide in developed as well as developing economies. It is on this basis that ID4Africa has now moved into phase two which is geared towards aligning key partners with the campaign to sensitize governments and countries around the globe about the responsible adoption of legal identity. It also seeks to identify a sponsor country that will propose this as an agenda item at the UN Assembly General in the coming years.
Executive Chairman of ID4Africa, Dr. Joseph J. Atick, said “The purpose of this day is to raise awareness about the important role identity plays in empowering individuals to exercise their rights and responsibilities fairly and equitably in a modern society. Many causes have special days of observances, except identity. The time has come for the world to recognize one of the most important assets a human can possess, their legal identity, and to do it while highlighting the importance of protecting that identity from theft and privacy violations.”
Dr. Atick further added “We are pleased to be joined in our efforts by the SIA and the EAB, two leading institutions representing a large number of members that are passionate in advocating responsible use of identity to make a better world.”
Michiel van der Veen, CEO of EABsaid “Having a legal Identity is a global human right empowering individuals to participate in society. As the leading voice for digital identity, for Europe, the EAB supports and promotes the initiative to recognize the importance of this human right through the International Identity Day. We are pleased to participate with all the other coalition partners to see this initiative through to fruition.”
Frédéric Trojani, Chairman of the Board, Secure Identity Alliance, also emphasized “Creating awareness around the important role identity plays in a modern society, whether developing or developed, is a core mission of SIA. Together with the other coalition partners we will work to bring this awareness to the highest political levels necessary to recognize the importance of this role, and to memorialize that collective effort through a commemorative day—the International Identity Day”.
Steve Atkins, Program Director, Silicon Trustcommented, “Having a your identity recognised is an important element in becoming a global citizen, with all the rights and responsibilities such as asset brings. The Silicon Trust intends to work tirelessly with our coalition partners in brining about the acceptance of the 16th September as International Identity Day”.
The coalition partners are set to embark on the long journey ahead, one they recognize could take several years. However, with the unity, passion and fortitude of the growing number of Identity Day coalition partners, the campaign will continue until it has lobbied sufficient support to warrant a vote at the UN General Assembly headquarters, New York, USA. The coalition is open to organizations that consider themselves identity stakeholders, committed to responsible adoption of identity as a positive change agent in society, including the respect of privacy and data protection, as well as to individuals that believe identity deserves an international commemorative day.
Individuals can join the campaign by signing the online petition at www.id-day.org.