24 October 2011

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

Secretary-General Says by Working Together to Apply Technology to Real-World Issues,


Information and Communications Technology Can Be Catalyst for Development


Following is the text of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s video message for the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Telecom World 2011 — Broadband Leadership Summit, in Geneva, 24 October:

When I attended your meeting two years ago with my Chief Information Technology Officer, it was clear to me that information and communication technologies were transforming our world.

Today, there is no part of modern life that is not affected by information and communications technology.  With well over 5 billion mobile cellular subscriptions and more than 2 billion people online, our challenge is to leverage the enormous power of technology to make the world a better place.

This is why I support the Broadband Commission for Digital Development, set up by ITU and UNESCO to encourage Governments, the private sector and other organizations to bring affordable, equitable broadband access to all the world’s people.  I also commend ITU for bringing together leading industry leaders, Government officials, digital innovators and technological experts for this week’s Broadband Leadership Summit and ITU Telecom World.

By working together to apply technology to real-world issues, you will enable information and communication technologies to be a catalyst for social, economic and sustainable development.  You will help us accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals.  And you can have an especially important impact on health and education, especially in the developing world, where resources are scarce and thinly spread.

Information and communications technologies are one of the most striking examples of the positive effects of globalization.  They are directly helping the United Nations achieve its global mission.  As we look ahead, we also need you to do your part to ensure the success of next year’s crucially important United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.  Rio+20 is your chance to show how information and communication technologies can help us build the equitable, green and growing economy the world so urgently needs.

I wish you well this week in Geneva.  Thank you again for your engagement and support.

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For information media • not an official record