ITU TELECOM ASIA 2002 Youth Forum Declaration

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The digital divide has many faces. It may involve inequality based on socio-economic standing, geographical location, gender, age or physical ability

We see that the most important aspects of the digital divide in priority order are:

1. ICT literacy - the ability to operate technology effectively and having technology that is user-friendly when we consider that the user may be disadvantaged by factors such as age and physical disability

2. Access - the ability to access technology as regards infrastructure, economical factors and standardisation.

3. Cultural issues - such as gender, language, traditions and customs, ethnicity and social standing. 

Our Vision

Our vision is a world in which the digital divide has been bridged, where communication is a fundamental right, a world where we become closer in a global human network. In the following declaration we will demonstrate how we may achieve our vision.

Our Mission

We, the youth have been born into a world where ICT is fundamental to social and economic development. It is our generation which is the main source of ICT knowledge and innovation. We have the ability and the duty to bridge the digital divide through ICT literacy. We will share our knowledge with our communities through education and the development of new user-friendly technologies to ensure that everyone is ICT literate.

We, the youth will encourage the developed countries to invest in developing countries in order to build infrastructure for a global human network. This network will be accessible and affordable to everyone allowing free exchange of information and knowledge, thus fostering the economies of all our countries.

We, the youth will make an effort to effect the formation of regulatory policy frameworks to promote moral use of ICT and ensure accessibility and availability of ICT on a non-discriminatory basis. The policies will aim to preserve local cultures, as we become part of the global society. ICT will also be used to create awareness of environmental issues.

Our Recommendations

To commit what we have suggested these are our immediate recommendations:

  • We encourage the youth to mobilise to build transnational and cross-cultural networks for the purpose of having effective dialogue and collaboration on a regular basis. This will enable us to have our voices to be heard in shaping policy and directing the future of the ICT industry and society as a whole.

  • We advocate young people bringing their talents, energy and innovative ideas to the ICT field. Further, we encourage young professionals to embrace the global human network and develop community-oriented content for the benefit of a community as a whole while retaining cultural identity.

  • We encourage the youth to take initiatives in bringing greater social awareness into policy-making regarding resource allocation and development of infrastructure in the ICT sector. Youth will play a greater leadership role in socially-aware enterprises, narrowing the gap, making ICT more equal and inclusive for all.

  • We urge the ITU to continue to promote a competitive climate within ICT industry to ensure that users will gain the benefit of technology at increasingly lower prices. Competition will also help to stimulate products and services innovations to increasingly meet the specific needs of people, giving them the ability to better communicate and thereby bridge the digital divide.

  • We strongly urge the ITU development sector to invest in the youth by continuing to support youth fora and other youth involvement in ICT activities. This produces socially aware young leaders who are empowered to fulfil our stated mission.


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