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ITU Humanitarian Awards presented

Emergency telecommunications cited as key area of focus

Dubai, UAE, 17 October 2012 – ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré presented the first ITU Humanitarian Award during ITU Telecom World 2012, currently in session in Dubai.

In recognition of the commitment and consistent leadership in supporting the use of telecommunications to save lives during emergencies, the Awards were presented to Industry Canada; Ministry for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Australia; Inmarsat; Iridium Communications; and Thuraya. Mr Navin Kapila, was presented an individual award.

Emergency telecommunications has been one of the key activities of ITU since its inception and remains so today. The new ITU Humanitarian Award reflects the importance the Union accords to emergency telecommunications before, during and after disasters strike. It includes disaster reduction activities as well as disaster management, including the rapid deployment of equipment to affected countries in the immediate aftermath of natural disasters.

In partnership with ITU, several partners have provided financial and in-kind support which has benefitted countries across the globe. For many years, ITU has partnered with Inmarsat, Iridium Communications and Thuraya to ensure connectivity following natural disasters to facilitate humanitarian assistance to the victims. Other partners contributing to ITU initiatives include ITU’s 193 Member States and the private sector.

“ITU has taken the lead in deploying emergency telecommunications using satellite equipment and other ICT solutions in disaster-hit regions around the world following earthquakes, floods, mudslides and tsunamis,” ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Touré said. “The ITU Humanitarian Award is a means to recognize our partners and individuals who have come together in times of crisis to rush to the aid of victims and help save lives. Human life is too precious to lose, and one life lost is one too many.”

For more information, please contact:

Sanjay Acharya

Chief, Media Relations and Public Information, ITU

tel +41 22 730 5046
mobile +41 79 249 4861
tel In Dubai: +971 556 397 534
email sanjay.acharya@itu.int 
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