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ITU opens United Nations Liaison Office in New York
Photo credit: UN Photo/P. Filgueiras
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Touré

To mark the opening of ITU’s first United Nations Liaison Office in New York, more than 60 members of the United Nations diplomatic corps gathered for a briefing by ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Touré on 15 March 2010.

Dr Touré described how ITU’s unique status of having members from both government and the private sector “has allowed the Union to support the United Nations in its mandate, by facilitating worldwide access to information and communication technologies (ICT).” Dr Touré assured the diplomats that ITU is committed to the UN system-wide objective of “Delivering as One”. This commitment, he said, has now been reinforced by the opening of our liaison office, which will promote ITU’s work within the UN common system. At the same time, it will ensure that this work helps further UN goals.

Recalling ITU Telecom World 2009, Dr Touré reminded the diplomats of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s call to action. At this event, Mr Ban invited “all UN agencies, world leaders, national and local governments, the private sector and non-governmental organizations to do their part to foster economic and social development through the use of ICT.” Dr Touré said that for its part, ITU will do everything it can to support the work and goals of the UN and its other agencies, funds and programmes. “United, there is little we cannot do in a host of cooperative ventures. But divided, there is little we can do,” he added.

Dr Touré also met Mr Ban, Ambassador Sha Zukang, Under Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, as well as the heads of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. In all of these meetings, Dr Touré stressed ITU’s leading role within the UN system on critical issues such as ICT for development, cybersecurity and the potential of broadband technology for achieving the Millennium Development Goals.


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