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A global partnership to promote high-speed connections
ITU and the United Nations Educational, Scientific
and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) are in the process
of establishing a Broadband Commission for
Digital Development. The Commission will seek to
promote the use of high-speed broadband communication
networks worldwide to help accelerate
achievement of the Millennium Development Goals,
or MDGs. Agreed by all United Nations Member
States in the year 2000, most of the MDGs remain
off track, particularly in developing countries, amid a
climate of global economic downturn.
The Commission has the full backing of the
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and
will be chaired by Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame,
with ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Touré and
UNESCO’s Director-General Irina Bokova holding the
vice-chairmanship. The Commission will be made
up of a group of eminent global leaders from government,
business, civil society and international
organizations, who will serve as commissioners.
ITU and UNESCO are currently finalizing the list of
With only five months to go before the 2010 MDG
Summit in New York in September, more efforts are
needed to put on track the goals of poverty, education,
gender equality, health and environmental protection.
“In the 21st century, affordable, ubiquitous
broadband networks will be as critical to social and
economic prosperity as networks such as transport,
water and power,” says Dr Touré.
A meeting of the Broadband Commission is
planned in June 2010 in Geneva. The Commission
plans to prepare a report to be presented at the 2010 MDG Summit.