Thursday, July 12, 2007

UN Secretary-General Calls to Broaden ITU's Agenda

UN Secretary-General Mr Ban Ki-moon visited the ITU's headquarters in Geneva and called on the organization to pursue a broader vision. He said ITU is providing the basic groundwork for the international community and should contribute to global agendas such as climate change, which would have long-term implications for the future of humankind. "ITU is one of the very important stakeholders in the area of climate change," said Mr Ban Ki-moon.

Dr Hamadoun Touré, Secretary-General of ITU, welcomed Mr Ban Ki-moon to ITU, hailing it as a historic visit -- the first to ITU by a UN Secretary-General. Appreciating the importance accorded by Mr Ban to the role of information and communication technologies (ICT) in world development, Dr Touré said that the first priority for ITU is to close the digital divide by 2015, in line with the UN's Millennium Development Goals. "If ITU does not meet the MDG, then no one else will -- because ICT is a tool for everyone," said Dr Touré. Applauding the UN Secretary-General's support for ITU's mission, Dr Touré added, "Together we can help the world to communicate. If we do this, the world will be a better place."

Earlier, Dr Touré laid out a framework for bridging the digital divide and his vision for achieving cyberpeace. He called for all partners to engage in cybersecurity and for a global approach to emergency communications to enhance disaster preparedness and relief.

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