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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Annan approves Global Alliance, plans steering committee

Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), Mr. Kofi Annan, has approved soon to be launched Global Alliance, just as plans are up to form the Steering Committee and Strategy Council.

Global Alliance represents an opportunity for the UN system to come together around Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to promote the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals in partnership with all other stakeholders, from government, business and civil society, as a platform for follow-up of discussions at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS).

Director, Office for ECOSOC Support and Coordination, department of economic and social affairs at UN Plaza in New York, Sarbuland Khan, disclosed this, saying he was delighted to report that his office has received formal approval for the launch from Mr. Annan’s office.

Khan in a statement made available to ITREALMS Online, said, "I am delighted to report that we have just received formal approval for the launch of the Global Alliance from Secretary-General Kofi Annan".

Noting that the work-in-progress has been a long time in the making, and the outcome is a result of the tireless efforts of all who participated in consultations preparing the ground for this initiative.

According to the director, in keeping with the open approach ECOSOC have employed throughout the year-long consultation process, "we are now planning to engage all interested parties to develop the arrangements for running this decentralized network of stakeholders in information and communication technologies for development."

The ECOSOC boss, encouraged stakeholders to share their views and hope that their organization would continue to work the Global Alliance so as to enable it take the expected rapid shape.

"We will be expediting steps for the formation of the Steering Committee and Strategy Council, the outreach campaign to potential participants, the development of a draft business plan, and the programme for the inaugural meeting with a view to a launch in Kuala Lumpur in the week of June 19, 2006" the director said.

Pointing out that ECOSOC wish to spread the net as wide as possible and to solicit inputs to the next phase of activity.

In addition, a web-based portal is being developed that will include background documentation and information updates so that the alliance could communicate with the public.

A number of upcoming meetings, the director said, will provide an opportunity to amplify news of the Alliance’s launch, including the CEB in Madrid, the GIIC in Washington DC, and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and OECD in Paris, as well as the Global Knowledge Partnership (GKP) in Sri Lanka and the WSIS follow-up information week in Geneva in May.

The Alliance also provides a common platform for the UN system and other key stakeholders to contribute to the follow up to WSIS by the Economic and Social Council and the Commission on Science and Technology for Development.
Its principal purpose is to mainstream and integrate ICT into the broader UN development agenda.

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