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STEPPING UP FINANCING OF DIGITAL SOLIDARITY FUND WOULD HELP BUILD – Information and Communications Technology for Development

Posted by benjamin-nicolau en octubre 24, 2008

STEPPING UP FINANCING OF DIGITAL SOLIDARITY FUND WOULD HELP BUILD

  

 

Members Debate Information and Communications Technology for Development

 

Development partners, the private sector, civil society and other stakeholders must step up voluntary contributions to the Global Digital Solidarity Fund, in order to help reduce the global digital divide, build a solidarity-based and inclusive information society and put technology at the service of development, Kenya’s representative said today, as the Second Committee (Economic and Financial) considered information and communications technology for development.

 

Speaking on behalf of the African Group, he stressed the need for adequate resources and sustainable investments in information and communications technology infrastructure and services, capacity-building and technology transfer in order to close the digital gap.  Information and communications technology was part of a fundamental social process, a basic human need and the foundation of all social organization.  It could offer many opportunities to society’s disadvantaged groups, particularly in Africa, by unlocking potential investment, promoting development and determining their future living standards.  The Millennium Development Goals could not be achieved without bridging the digital gap.

 

The representative of Antigua and Barbuda, speaking on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, also called for greater efforts to transfer such technology to the developing world and to disseminate it within those countries.  The cost of the technology, including broadband connections, must be reduced, and capacity-building for greater technological use and application increased, so that developing nations could better adapt technology to meet local needs.  While progress towards implementing the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society seemed to be on track, uncertainties persisted.  There was a need for benchmarks to measure progress towards specific targets and goals set forth in the Geneva Plan of Action and the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society.  The Group of 77 and China urged the United Nations and the international community to take concrete action to monitor implementation of those outcomes.

 

Indonesia’s representative, speaking on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), noted that despite annual progress in bridging the digital divide, the world had yet to address its root causes.  In order to reduce inequalities between the developed and developing world in terms of quality and capacity, States must work together to speed the development of technological infrastructure and services, for the benefit of all communities.  Information and communication technologies were already helping to mitigate natural disasters through disaster relief, and protect the environment through energy efficiency, especially in the disaster-prone ASEAN region.

 

France’s representative, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said the Internet of the future, which would serve as a powerful new catalyst for technology innovation, would make it easier to tackle major international society issues such as environmental risks, ageing populations and shortages of raw materials.  The European Union, in compliance with the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society, was working to reinforce cooperation on Internet governance, and it had made closing the digital divide a real priority.  In keeping with that theme, an International Conference on Digital Solidarity, the central theme of which would focus on new forms of solidarity for development, would be organized in Lyon, France, on 24 November.

 

At the outset of the meeting, Khalil Rahman, Officer-in-Charge of the Division for Technology and Logistics at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and Suzanne Bilello, Senior Public Information and Liaison Officer for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), introduced the documents under the Committee’s consideration.

 

Other speakers included the representatives of Tunisia, China, India, Senegal, Morocco, Bahrain, Belarus and Brazil.

 

Also making statements were representatives of the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization.

 

In other business earlier, the Committee concluded its general discussion on poverty eradication and other development issues, hearing from the representatives of Afghanistan and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.

 

The Second Committee will meet again at 10 a.m. on Monday, 27 October, to consider sustainable development.

 

 

Source UN

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