2003 – A digital divide threatens to widen gaps between rich and poor

Photos: UNDP Ghana/UNDP India/UNDP KyrgyzstanIn 2003, the United Nations looked to ensure that the benefits of new technologies – especially information and communications technologies, were available to all. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated:  The swift emergence of a global ‘information society’ is changing the way people live, learn, work and relate…yet too many of the world’s people remain untouched by this revolution. A ‘digital divide’ threatens to exacerbate already-wide gaps between rich and poor, within and among countries.

In December, the first phase of the World Summit on the Information Society was held in Geneva. At the Summit, international organizations, governments, the private sector, and civil society came together and adopted a Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action that outlined specific goals for bridging the digital divide.

Watch the history of the United Nations unfold a document at a time at: 70 Years, 70 Documents: An Exhibit.

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