18 April 2006

Global Alliance for Information Technologies and Development to Be Launched

NEW YORK, 17 April (Department of Economic and Social Affairs) -- United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has approved the launch of a Global Alliance for Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and Development.

As stressed by the 2005 World Summit and the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), information and communication technology must be effectively integrated into development activities if the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals, are to be achieved within the agreed time frame.

The mission of the Global Alliance for ICT and Development will be to facilitate and promote such integration by providing a platform for an open, inclusive, multi-stakeholder cross-sectoral policy dialogue on the role of information and communication technology in development.  It will thus contribute to linking the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society with the broader United Nations development agenda.

The Alliance will organize thematic events addressing core issues related to the role of information and communication technology in economic development and eradication of poverty, employment and enterprise in pro-poor growth scenarios, with particular focus on health, education, gender, youth, disabled and disadvantaged segments of society.  Groups of participants would coalesce around specific topics of mutual interest put forward for discussion.

In building on existing initiatives and institutions and promoting synergy among them, the Alliance will make extensive use of the latest web-based collaborative technologies, thus minimizing the need for physical meetings.  The Global Alliance will function primarily as a decentralized network, open to participation of all stakeholders, including Governments, business, civil society and international organizations.  The Alliance will aim significantly to expand the circle of participants in policy and partnership debate beyond the traditional set of stakeholders, by actively engaging constituencies that currently are not adequately involved, particularly non-governmental participants from developing countries, media, academia, youth and women's groups.

The Alliance will hold its inaugural meeting on 19 June in Kuala Lumpur.

For further information, please contact:  Enrica Murmura, tel.: (212) 963-5913, e-mail: ; Tim Wall, tel.: (212) 963-5851, e-mail: ; or Edoardo Bellando, tel.: (212) 963 8275, e-mail: .

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