Information technology helps advance anti-poverty goals, UN report says

12 May 2010 – Information and communication technology (ICT) projects are helping countries make significant progress towards the globally agreed anti-poverty targets world leaders have pledged to achieve by 2015, according to a United Nations report released today.

For the first time, the 2010 World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Stocktaking report – now in its third edition – takes into account the use of social networking services.

“This report charts significant progress in meeting the ICT development targets set by the WSIS Tunis Phase in 2005, and also offers real hope that we may be able to leverage our success in connecting the world to accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs),” said Houlin Zhao, Deputy Secretary-General of the UN International Telecommunications Union (ITU).

The Tunis phase of the World Summit, held in 2005, focused on how to bridge the so-called digital divide between developed and developing countries through the spread of Internet. The first phase of the Summit was held in Geneva in 2003.

In addition to examining the potential of new social networking services in the development of ICTs and the link with MDGs, the report looks at the use of ICTs for disaster management, cyber security and cyberspace.

The WSIS Stocktaking Process was initiated in 2004 to provide a register of activities carried out by governments, international organizations, the business sector, civil society and other entities, in order to highlight the progress made since the Summit.

The report was released today as representatives of UN agencies, governments, civil society and the technology industry continue their discussions at the WSIS Forum, which runs until Friday in Geneva.

ITU, which organized the Forum along with the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) – said it has modernized its online database to better analyze projects around the world and to better identify new trends.


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