New UN Broadband Commissioners named

The UN’s Broadband Commission for Digital development has named eight new Commissioners drawn from technology leaders and development champions from around the world.

The new commissioners join a select group of over 50 global leaders who are putting broadband at the centre of their organisational vision.

“The Broadband Commission is delighted to welcome these global leaders, who will use their talents and their considerable expertise to add fresh impetus to our mission to spread the word about the importance of broadband,” said Dr Hamadoun Touré, ITU Secretary-General and Co-Vice Chair of the Commission.

The new Commissioners are:

  • Dr Hessa Al-Jaber, Secretary-General, ictQATAR
  • Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al-Thani, Chairman, Qtel
  • Dr Saad Bin Dhafer Al Qahtani, Group CEO for Strategic Operations, Saudi Telecom Corporation
  • Mr Vanu Bose, CEO, Vanu Inc
  • Mr Innocenti Botti, President, Invitalia
  • H.E. Jasna Matić, State Secretary for Digital Agenda, Serbia
  • Dr Armen Orujyan, Founder & Chairman, Athgo Corporation
  • Mr Jean-Louis Schiltz, legal counsel, Schiltz & Schiltz & former Minister for Communications, Luxembourg

Commission members comprise a high-powered international community, including prominent CEOs, top-level policy-makers and government representatives, heads of international agencies, and senior figures from academia and organizations with a development mandate. Leaders in their fields, they each believe strongly in a future based on broadband, and are working to drive the issue to the top of the political and development agenda worldwide.

The Commission was launched at ITU headquarters in Geneva in May 2010 in response to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon’s call to step up UN efforts to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It is co-chaired by President Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Mr Carlos Slim Helú, President of the Carlos Slim Foundation, with ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun Touré and UNESCO Director-General, Ms Irina Bokova, serving as joint vice chairs.

At its fourth meeting, held in Geneva last October, Commissioners agreed on a set of four ‘ambitious but achievable targets that countries around the world should strive to meet in order to ensure their populations fully participate in tomorrow’s emerging knowledge societies.

The targets are: making broadband policy universal, making broadband affordable (less than 5% of average monthly income), connecting 40% of households in developing countries by 2015, and achieving 60% global access, 50% access in developing countries and 15% in LDCs by 2015.

They also launched a Broadband Challenge that recognizes communication as ‘a human need and a right’, and calls on governments and private industry to work together to develop the innovative policy frameworks, business models and financing arrangements needed to facilitate growth in access to broadband worldwide.

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