Annan: information technology must be used to improve life in poor countries – September 2003
(New York, Sep 12 2003, UN News Service) Information technology should be used to improve the quality of life in developing countries, thus helping to achieve the ambitious goals set by the United Nations Millennium Summit of 2000, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said today.
"A powerful coalition has now formed to support this cause, and to guide us in our quest," Mr. Annan said in a video message to the fifth meeting of the UN Information and Communications Technology Task Force in Geneva. "Exciting opportunities are opening up. Education and employment, trade and health, governance and tolerance - all these areas of life, and others too, can be transformed."
Noting that the World Summit on the Information Society is just three months away, he added: "I hope you will all do your utmost to make it a success, by using it to spread the word about initiatives that make creative use of technology to improve the quality of life in developing countries. By so doing, you will enable others to benefit from your ideas, and to replicate them easily.
"New technologies and applications continue to emerge. Current technologies are maturing, and old ones are finding new uses. We must ensure that the poor are not left further behind by all these dramatic changes, but can join in, and benefit from them."
The Millennium Development Goals aim at a series of ambitious targets ranging from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS to providing universal primary education, all by 2015.
Some 1,500 delegates from UN Member States, intergovernmental organizations, civil society, the private sector and the media are set to begin a two-week preparatory committee meeting on Monday in readiness for the information summit.
The summit, to be held in two phases - in Geneva from 10 to 12 December, and in Tunis from 16 to 18 November, 2005 - will bring together Heads of State, UN agency chiefs, civil society leaders, industry and the media.
For more details go to UN News Centre
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