The outgoing Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-moon has said that Information and Communications Technology (ICT) has the capacity to deliver smart solutions to address climate change, hunger, poverty, women’s empowerment and more, reports ITRealms.
Opening the 11th annual Internet Governance Forum in Jalisco, Mexico, the Sec-Gen expressed optimism that the Internet and ICT can play important role in efforts to fulfilling the 2030 agenda.
“Indeed, the Internet and information and communication technologies (ICTs) can play an important, enabling role in our efforts to fulfill the great promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” stated United Nations Assistant Secretary-General Lenni Montiel in a message from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the opening ceremony of the Forum.
Noting that ICTs can deliver smart solutions to address climate change, hunger, poverty, women’s empowerment and more, the Secretary-General’s statement urged delegates to keep working to ensure universal access to a more open information society.
Ensuring such equitable access is one of the main challenges of modern society, said Miguel Ruiz Cabañas, Undersecretary for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico, who added his strong support for the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. “We are truly pleased that this event will foster the enabling of sustainable and inclusive growth and fight climate change with cross-cutting policies that contribute to access and use of the Internet.”
Alejandra Lagunes, Coordinator of the National Digital Strategy of Mexico and Chairperson of the 2016 IGF, said, “Clearly we need to build on our points of agreement and exchange of ideas so that we can make the most of all of the potential of the Internet.”
Local authorities and other speakers at the opening ceremony echoed the call for an open and universally accessible Internet while emphasizing the importance of net neutrality and more international coordination on cybersecurity issues. As this year’s IGF is the first since its 10-year renewal by the General Assembly, speakers emphasized the importance of the IGF multistakeholder platform for public policy dialogue.
Delegates from all stakeholder groups including governments, international organizations, technology companies, civil society and academia held workshops and meetings Tuesday to address the Internet’s pressing challenges and build on the enormous advances the Internet has created. Specifically, attendees discussed how to bring more women worldwide into the digital economy, better connect developing countries and the Global South, and implement human rights standards to the ICT sector, among other topics.
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