Press Releases

    4 February 2002


    NEW YORK, 1 February (UN Headquarters) -- The United Nations Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Task Force, launched last November by Secretary-General Kofi Annan to harness the power of information and communication technologies for advancing development and poverty-eradication initiatives, will hold its second meeting at United Nations Headquarters, Economic and Social Council Chamber, on 3 and 4 February.

    The Task Force is chaired by José María Figueres Olsen, former President of Costa Rica and a leader of digital development in his country. Participants at the meeting will include business leaders such as Pasquale Pistorio, Talal Abu Ghazaleh and Gustavo Cisneros; civil society leaders such as Zoe Baird; political leaders such as China’s Vice-Minister for Science and Technology, Ma Songde, and South Africa’s Director of the Presidential National Commission on Information Society and Development, Lyndall Shope-Mafole; and United Nations officials such as Mark Malloch Brown, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme.

    On 3 February, Task Force members will discuss ICT policy and governance; national and regional e-strategies; human resource development and capacity building; resource mobilization; low-cost connectivity and access; and business enterprise and entrepreneurship.

    On 4 February, the focus will be on national e-strategies for poverty eradication. Participants will discuss how best to integrate ICT within national development strategies and goals.

    Task Force members will also explore ways to contribute to the preparation of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) -- scheduled for 2003 in Geneva, and 2005 in Tunis.

    The two-day session is expected to adopt a statement on ICT as a key instrument for empowerment and poverty reduction. There will be a press conference on the outcome of the session in room S-226 on Monday, 4 February, at 2:45 p.m.

    For further information visit the ICT Task Force’s Web site at, or contact Enrica Murmura, Outreach Specialist, UN ICT Task Force secretariat, Tel: (917) 367-2219; e-mail:; or Edoardo Bellando, Development and Human Rights Section, United Nations Department of Public Information, Tel: (212) 963-8275, e-mail:

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