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Rio+20: ITU and Brazil focus on broadband and ICTs for ‘Future we Want’

ICTs are enablers of ‘smart’, energy-efficient sustainable societies

Geneva, 20 June 2012 – ITU and the Ministry of Communication of Brazil organized a high level event under the theme, “Broadband and ICTs for smart, inclusive and sustainable societies” on the eve of Rio+20, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.

The event outlined the critical role of broadband-enabled services and applications as facilitators for long-term sustainable economic development. Discussions centred on two key areas: “Broadband and ICTs for ‘Smart’ Development”; and “Incentives for broadband deployment and coordination of public and private sectors to promote sustainable development”.

Speakers presented their perspectives and experiences on the application of broadband-enabled innovation as drivers of ‘smart’ energy-efficient economic growth, social development and environmental protection – the three pillars of sustainable development. They also examined the challenges confronting the roll out of broadband as well as the solutions that need to be put in place to harness the catalytic potential of ICTs to achieve sustainable development.

In a message to participants at the United Nations conference in Rio, ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré noted the critical importance of ICTs and broadband connectivity in meeting future sustainable development goals. “ICTs and broadband are the key drivers of the global economy,” Dr Touré said. “It is imperative that we recognize that these technologies are the enablers of sustainable development that will help us achieve our common goals – the future we want.”

Participants included a diverse group of experts from government, industry, the UN System and civil society. César Alvarez, Executive Secretary of Communication, Government of Brazil; ITU Deputy Secretary-General Houlin Zhao; Assistant Director General for Strategic Planning, UNESCO Mr Hans D’Orville, Representing the Vice Chairman of the Broadband Commission for Digital Development; and Executive Vice President and Head of Networks, Ericsson, Mr Johan Wibergh, Chairman of the Working Group on Climate Change of the Broadband Commission.

For more information, see www.itu.int/themes/climate/events/rioplus20/17J_ITUevent.html or contact:

Sanjay Acharya

Chief, Media Relations and Public Information

tel +41 22 730 5046
tel +41 79 249 4861
tel sanjay.acharya@itu.int 

Gary Fowlie (in Rio de Janeiro)

Head, ITU liaison Office to the United Nations

tel +1 917 679 5252
tel gary.fowlie@itu.int  
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