Wednesday, September 19, 2007

India increases ITU support by 50%

India, at the weekend doubled its financial contribution to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) from five ‘contributory units’ to ten, amounting to CHF 3.18 million per annum.

Secretary, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Government of India, Mr D.S. Mathur, who disclosed this at the end of ITU Council meeting in Geneva, said his country is fully supporting the mission of ITU to connect the world and, in particular, to develop online resources and strengthen cyber security.

“The Global Cyber security Agenda launched by ITU this year is a significant step in ensuring confidence and security in the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ITC) around the world,” he said.

Mr Mathur added that India would continue to back ITU not only financially but with human resources as well.

“India is at the forefront of ICT development in the world owing largely to its wealth of human capacity, which is based on our top-class educational system,” the Secretary noted, stressing that India would use its growing global presence in this sector to promote ITU’s work in reaching the benefits of ICT to all inhabitants of the world.

This, he said, is an endorsement of ITU global initiatives and expressed confidence in ITU’s management even as the launch of new global initiatives, including the series to ‘Connect the World’ was commended.

ICT, he pointed out is the driver of economic growth and employment around the world and the catalyst for improved services such as health care and education.

In his response, Secretary-General, ITU, Dr Hamadoun Touré, while welcomed India’s increased contribution, said it was a reflection of the spectacular growth of telecommunications in the country.

“I thank the government of India for the increased financial contribution that will support ITU’s commitment to connect people everywhere, especially in remote and underserved regions. By doing so, we will be able to accelerate the process of meeting the broader development goals,” he said.

Dr Touré also said that a Marshall Plan for ICT is needed if the 2015 deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is to met.

He therefore called on other countries of the world to emulate India in increasing support for ITU.

“India’s increased financial support must be emulated by other Member States and stakeholders who have made commitments to connect the world in the Millennium Declaration and at the World Summit on the Information Society,” Dr Touré said.

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