12 November 2008
Secretary-General
SG/SM/11919

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

SECRETARY-GENERAL, IN VIDEO MESSAGE, HAILS INTERNATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATION UNION’S


EFFORTS TO HELP DEVELOPING COUNTRIES OBTAIN DISASTER-RELIEF RESOURCES


Following is the text of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s video message to the Governing Council of the International Telecommunication Union in Geneva, today, 12 November:


I am very pleased to send greetings to you.  But maybe, instead of a video, I should have sent a text message.  That’s how I marked the International Day of Peace.  We launched a worldwide texting campaign to spread the message of peace.  People sent messages in different languages from around the world.


Technology continues to spread fast.  Yet too many people lack access.  So I welcome the ITU’s [International Telecommunication Union] commitment to “connecting the world”.


I also welcome ITU’s efforts to combat climate change and achieve the Millennium Development Goals.


Climate change is the defining challenge of our era.  I was very pleased to learn that you are trying to make information and communications technology climate-neutral.  Your work to cut greenhouse gas emissions, develop standards and use “e-environment” systems can speed up the global shift to a low-carbon economy.


You are also playing an important role in helping developing countries adapt to the impact of climate by helping them obtain emergency telecommunications systems and other resources for disaster relief.


Cybersecurity remains another critical challenge.  With more and more transactions being done online, predators, criminals and terrorists can take advantage.  We have to protect against cyberthreats, especially when they target children.  I welcome the ITU’s “Child Online Protection” initiative and urge all States to support it.


The technologies and standards that are at the heart of your discussions can transform our ability to meet a wide range of pressing global challenges.  I pledge my full support for ITU and look forward to our continued work together in pursuit of shared goals.  Please accept my best wishes for the success of your deliberations.


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For information media • not an official record