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 Tuesday, September 17, 2013
- Activity on digital technologies and youth took place from September 9 to 11 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Corobicí .
- More than 500 participants from the member countries of the ITU participated in presence and virtually in this first edition of the Summit.

What will be the new Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations , after 2015? To help to define this to global leaders, young people around the world flocked to Costa Rica under the I World Youth Summit BYND 2015 , organized by the Government of Costa Rica and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU ).

As we approach the deadline for compliance with these objectives, this summit was the ideal, both in person and virtually, for youth aged 18 to 25 years around the world to make their voices heard in this important process and propose possible solutions to meet the present and future challenges.

"This is one one truly exciting and challenging time to be young by the great opportunities offered by information and communication technology (ICT) to meet your goals, but this technological world also brings risks and challenges. The ITU has welcomed our initiative to organize a global forum for young people around the world to come to our country to discuss the opportunities of the Internet and also on how they can promote health, entrepreneurship, safety and freedom . We are eager to welcome hundreds of young people who help advance consensus on global ICT; we want them to be the stars of this digital world , not just using it, but also helping to build a suitable architecture for its governance", said Mrs. Laura Chinchilla, President of Costa Rica.

BYND means Broadband and Youth Networking Dialogues, but BYND 2015 also refers to the English word “Beyond”. This is how the United Nations system is identifying the sustainable development agenda after the Millennium Development Goals, which was remade in 2015. All ideas that will be taken from this activity will facilitate to include ICTs as one of the pillars of the United Nations agenda. In fact, the activity allows youth to ensure their inclusion in the major decisions of this century, and which is likely to manifest their political priorities and decision-making: these will be included in a collective statement to be presented at meetings General Assembly of the United Nations later this month by Mrs. Laura Chinchilla, President of the Republic.

"What is the potential of digital technologies for development? Young people are the new players in this world, and they are the pioneers in the use of new technologies. This is the reason why their voices are essential to define the development priorities for their generations, especially through the use of digital tools at their disposal, and productive ways that empower them", said Alejandro Cruz, Minister of Science, Technology and Telecommunications.
Through a series of workshops, lectures and interactive discussions that revolved around the use of ICT for the common good, these young people discussed on topics defined, which are entrepreneurship, innovation and employment, lifestyles and health; cybersecurity and online protection for children, sustainable development and environment, and processes of governance and civil society.

"This summit will mark a difference between before and after of what is in the minds of the young. It is a matter of pride that the ITU has chosen our country to host the first edition of this event, and this is a evidence that the work we have been doing since years ago in favor of young people is paying off", said Mr. Manuel Obregon , Deputy Minister of Culture and Youth.

In addition to the main topics discussed, at the forum was held the BYND 2015 Hackathon. This was an event where creative young people with skills in programming, graphic design and project management  had 24 hours to develop prototypes of innovative technologies to support the scope of the Millennium Development Goals. Youth participants were accompanied by lectures, short training and relevant mentoring testimony of the industry.

Keynote speakers and guests of this activity were Mrs. Laura Chinchilla, President of the Republic , Mr. Hamadoun Touré , ITU Secretary- General , Mrs. Patience Jonathan, First Lady of Nigeria , Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Saud Al Thani , Prince Catarí , Ms. Marta Santos Pais, Special Representative of the United Nations on Violence against Children, and Mrs. Margarita Cedeño de Fernández, vice president of the Dominican Republic, among others.

BYND 2015 was inclusive, because there is not only around 500 participants in the country, as well as there was enabled crouwdsourcing platform, or open collaboration online, available to those unable to participate in person. As of 1 September, this virtual community added 2,500 users and more than 900 individual ideas that have received 13,717 votes with nearly 11,068 comments . Even the tag # BYND2015en microblogging network Twitter has generated comments of 4.5 million people. Also, around 3,000 people from about 60 different countries have participated with hubs or centers of discussion from their cities and sent their comments online.

Links of interest:
· 2015 BYND homepage. See here the brochure of the event.
· 2015 BYND Program is available here, information on sessions and speakers here.
· Videos on BYND 2015 available here.
· Platform for crowdsourcing: http://ideas.itu.int/
· Community Google+
· YouTube Channel
· Conversations on Twitter # BYND2015

(Source: Presidencia de Costa Rica)