8 September 2013
Secretary-General
SG/SM/15259

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

Information and Communications Technology Central to Advancing Development

 

Targets, Secretary-General Tells ‘BYND 2015’ Global Youth Summit

 


Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message, delivered by Ahmad Alhendawi, his Envoy on Youth, to the BYND 2015 Global Youth Summit in San José, Costa Rica, on 8 September 2013:


I am pleased to send greetings to the BYND 2015 Global Youth Summit — to those here in person and those participating online throughout the world.  I thank President Chinchilla of Costa Rica for hosting and Dr. Hamadoun Touré, Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union, for engaging young people in this important discussion on how best to use information and communications technology for social good.


Young people, perhaps more than anyone, understand how information and communications technology can help make a difference in people’s lives.  In recent years we have seen how youth-driven social media platforms can help disseminate ideas and generate momentum for change.  Information technology has a growing role in connecting friends and families, teachers and students, doctors and patients, farmers, traders and markets.


Information and communications technologies are increasingly important to the work of the United Nations, promoting efficiency, transparency and accountability.  I am the first Secretary-General to use platforms such as Weibo, Facebook and Twitter, but I will certainly not be the last.  Modern communications technologies are also supporting new and exciting initiatives such as the Global Pulse — our effort to harness the power of digital data to advance economic and social development and better listen and respond to the citizens of the world.


Information and communications technology will play a central role in our efforts to enhance our efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and define and pursue a post-2015 sustainable development agenda.  They give us immense power to accelerate progress on education, employment, poverty reduction, access to health care and the empowerment of disabled persons, women and youth.


Over the past year, these new tools have enabled the United Nations to initiate an unprecedented global conversation on people’s aspirations for the coming decades.  More than 1 million people from all regions and backgrounds contributed, half of whom were under 30 years old.  The report, “A Million Voices:  The World We Want”, will be published tomorrow and will provide valuable guidance to the deliberations of the General Assembly in September and beyond.  This Summit can do the same.  I hope it also invigorates your own commitment to using information and communications technology to enrich your lives and benefit your communities and the world.


I wish you an inspiring and productive meeting.


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For information media • not an official record