WayForward@ITREALMS

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Experts to advocate ICT solutions on financial crunch

This year’s International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Telecom World 2009, slated to hold in Geneva between October 5-9, will include a global leadership summit to address the role of Information and Communications Technology (ICTs) in economic recovery from the worldwide crisis and stimulating future investment and growth.

The ITU Telecom board of directors, which met in Barcelona last week, gave their full support to ITU to play a catalyzing role in shaping the agenda for global economic recovery and development.

The board, which includes key industry leaders, emphasized the role of the digital economy in reviving the broader global economy.

Chief, Media Relations and Public Information, ITU, Mr. Sanjay Acharya, said in a press statement made available to ITRealms Online that the leaders expected at the forum will express their confidence in ITU for steering ITU Telecom World 2009, in the right direction, the Directors also agreed that ITU Telecom World will be held in Geneva in 2011 to mark its 40th anniversary.

ITU Telecom World 2009, he said, is the leading global ICT showcase that brings together Heads of State, Ministers, industry leaders and regulators for the high-level summit, cutting-edge forum and a dynamic exhibition.

“Such a high-level gathering from across governments and industry will create a unique public-private networking platform on a global scale to brainstorm strategies aimed at paving the way to economic recovery and development,” he said.

UN Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon has confirmed his attendance.

“It is vital that we use opportunities such as ITU Telecom World 2009 for a frank debate on the way forward for the ICT industry that will translate challenges into real and workable solutions,” Mr Ki-moon said.

Information and communication technologies, he noted, are increasingly critical for global development and human well-being, as such, UN must not allow today’s economic downturn to slow progress in providing widespread access to these essential tools.

In his part, the ITU Secretary-General, Dr. Hamadoun Touré said, the forthcoming ITU Telecom World 2009 will be the right time to bring together all the key players in government and the ICT industry.

“We will be in a better position to assess the effects on industry and establish both how to resuscitate those sectors that need it as well as to focus on how ICTs can be a catalyst for recovery,” he said.

ICT sector, Toure pointed out, has been the powerhouse of the global economy in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), stressing that investment in ICTs makes as much sense now as it did in building the physical infrastructure of roads and railways during the great depression of the 1930s.

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