ITU’s broadband call for action

The Broadband Commission for Digital Development has issued a call for action to delegates at Rio+20, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, to recognize information and communication technologies (ICT) and broadband connectivity as catalysts to achieve the three pillars of sustainable development – economic growth, social inclusion and environmental sustainability.

In a joint statement, the Broadband Commissioners said: “We believe broadband is a fundamental technology to achieve sustainable development that should also be recognized in future Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”.

ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré noted that information and communication technologies (ICT) have a critical role in meeting future sustainable development goals. “ICTs have created a watershed moment in human evolution and are poised to make a catalytic impact on the sustainable development of our planet,” Dr Touré said. “The roadmap being negotiated at Rio+20 must therefore explicitly recognize the potential of ICTs and broadband connectivity.” Dr Touré added that ‘Broadband Inclusion 4 All’ must be fully integrated into shaping strategies in the post-2015 international development framework.

 ‘The Broadband Bridge’, a Report issued by the Commission’s Working Group on Climate Change emphasizes the far-reaching solutions that are enabled by broadband connectivity, and provides practical examples of how this technology can contribute to reducing greenhouse gasses (GHGs), mitigating and adapting to the effects of climate change, and promoting resource efficiency. The Report concludes with ten recommendations for policy makers and global leaders to hasten and strengthen the ability of ICTs and broadband to accelerate global progress towards a low-carbon future.

Broadband connectivity has the potential to provide solutions to sustainable development challenges, while simultaneously increasing socio-economic development and quality of life as well as facilitating transformative change in a wide range of key sectors from power, transportation, buildings, education, health and agriculture.

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