In today’s world, telecommunications are more than
just a basic service — they are a means to promote
development, improve society and save lives. This
will be all the more true in the
world of tomorrow.
The importance of telecommunications
was on display in
the wake of the earthquake
which devastated Haiti earlier
this year. Communications
technologies were used to
coordinate aid, optimize resources
and provide desperately
sought information about the victims. ITU and
its commercial partners contributed scores of satellite
terminals and helped to provide wireless communications
to help disaster relief and clean-up efforts.
I welcome those efforts and, more broadly, the
work of ITU and others to promote broadband access
in rural and remote areas around the world.
“ In today’s world,
telecommunications are more than
just a basic service — they are a
means to promote development,
improve society and save lives. ”
Greater access can mean faster progress toward
the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The
Internet drives trade, commerce and even education.
Telemedicine is improving health care. Earth monitoring
satellites are being used to address climate
change. And green technologies are promoting
As these innovations grow
in importance, so, too, does
the need to bridge the digital
The theme of this year’s
observance, “Better city, better life with ICTs,” is a reminder
technologies must be employed
— and disposed of — in a manner that raises
living standards while protecting the environment.
The United Nations is committed to ensuring that
people everywhere have equitable access to information
and communication technologies. On this
International Day, let us resolve to fully harness the
great potential of the digital revolution in the service
of life-saving relief operations, sustainable development
and lasting peace.