Information and communication technologies (ICT) have the potential to provide new solutions to the many challenges faced by modernizing societies around the world.
There is a very real connection between technology, innovation, entrepreneurship, growth, and inclusive sustainable development. The real power of ICT lies in its ability to leverage connected technologies to improve people’s lives.
From cloud computing and the power of big data, to the latest mobile applications that simplify everyday tasks, cutting-edge technology offers opportunities to accelerate economic growth, increase social inclusion, and provide new tools in the fight against poverty, inequality, and cross-border challenges such as climate change.
As we make a big final push to 2015 on achieving the Millennium Development Goals, and continue our global discussions shaping the post-2015 development agenda, it is imperative that we harness the potential of ICT as a critical component of innovative and sustainable solutions.
Unfortunately, the potential of these innovations has not been matched by an adequate expansion in knowledge about the opportunities and challenges that they present.
Connect Asia-Pacific 2013 will bring together senior government leaders, policy-makers, and ICT experts from the region and beyond to develop strategies to bring ICT and broadband internet to all people, at all times, and at affordable prices. It will also explore the mobilization of the human, financial, and technical resources needed to bridge the digital divide and to bring the transformative potential of ICT to all people in Asia and the Pacific.
I am confident that the Summit will provide innovative solutions to the connectivity challenges facing this region. It offers a unique venue for leaders from the public and private sectors, and international and regional financing and development agencies, to come together and forge new initiatives and partnerships. ESCAP is proud to be part of this process.
Innovative ICT developments can offer people from all communities the means to transform information into enhanced understanding and knowledge. But this will only be possible if our growing interconnectedness and interdependence is accompanied by shared values, shared commitment, and shared solidarity for inclusive and sustainable development, where progress is made for all people.
Dr. Noeleen Heyzer
Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and
Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific