Press Releases

    23 November 2004

    ICT Task Force Meeting in Berlin Focuses on Promoting Favourable Environments for Information Technology

    BERLIN, 22 November(UN Department of Public Information) -- “Promoting an enabling environment for digital development” was the theme of the seventh meeting of the United Nations Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Task Force, held on 19 and 20 November in Berlin, hosted by the German Foreign Ministry.

    The Global Forum was attended by practitioners from the public and private sectors, academia and civil society.  Among the participants were Mozambique’s Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology Lidia Brito; Italy’s Minister for Innovation and Technology Lucio Stanca; Thomas Ganswindt, Member of the Corporate Executive Committee, Information and Communication Network, Siemens AG; Hewlett Packard Vice-President Maureen Conway; and NOKIA Senior Vice-President Veli Sundback.  Also participating were Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, Chief Executive Officer, Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization; David A. Gross, Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy, United States Department of State; and other leading representatives of the ICT-for-Development community.

    Participants recognized the need for a global platform for a productive dialogue among stakeholders that will continue to operate beyond the Tunis phase of the World Summit on the Information Society in November 2005.  In order to provide a forum with the necessary legitimacy, inclusiveness and global scope, the Task Force decided to undertake wide consultations with all stakeholders to promote a Global Alliance on ICT-for-Development that might be launched at the World Summit on the Information Society in Tunis next year.  The Alliance will be intended to promote a voluntary multistakeholder forum and platform for debate and dialogue with the objective of promoting the use of ICT for achieving the Millennium Development Goals on the basis of a close collaboration of all stakeholders.  Concrete methodologies and modalities of operation of the Alliance will be developed in close consultations with all stakeholders.

    During the closed meeting, the members of the Task Force elected the Bureau for 2004-2005.  Jose Antonio Ocampo, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, was elected as the new Chairman of the ICT Task Force. Vice-Chairs are Brendan Tuohy, Secretary-General of the Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources of Ireland; and Art Reilly, Vice-Chairman of CISCO. The Task Force expressed its appreciation and thanks to the outgoing Chairman, Vice-Chairman and other outgoing members of the Bureau for their leadership during the period 2003-2004.

    The outcome of the Global Forum -- a summary of its proceedings and proposals for action -- will be submitted to the Secretary-General’s Task Force on Financial Mechanisms and to the Preparatory Committee for the World Summit on the Information Society, which will hold its second meeting next February in Geneva.

    Established by Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 2001, the ICT Task Force brings together representatives of governments, the private sector, civil society and international organizations in a global effort to harness the potential of ICT for promoting development.

    Contact:  Enrica Murmura, United Nations ICT Task Force Secretariat, tel.:  (212) 963 5913, e-mail:; Edoardo Bellando, United Nations Department of Public Information, tel.:  (212) 963 8275, e-mail:; or the Task Force Secretariat, tel.:  (212) 963 5676. Website:

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