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ITU at Rio+20 promotes ICTs as key to the ‘Future We Want’

Information and communication technologies are catalysts to meet sustainable development goals

Geneva, 14 June 2012 – In the lead up to Rio+20, ITU is strongly advocating that Information and communication technologies (ICT) are the catalysts for progress and poverty eradication and should be recognized as essential infrastructure with the power to bridge social divides and achieve sustainable development.

“Information and communication technologies should be at the top of any outcome adopted by the Rio+20 conference,” said ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré. “ICTs have a catalytic impact on all three pillars of sustainable development – economic growth, social inclusion and environmental sustainability. And broadband connectivity in particular facilitates transformative change in a wide range of key sectors from power, transportation, buildings, education, health and agriculture with the potential to achieve our Sustainable Development Goals.”

Dr Touré added that ICTs can help achieve a sustainable development model, as broadband-enabled innovation in applications and services promote the integration of ‘smarter’ and more energy-efficient economic growth, social development and environmental protection. He also pointed to ITU’s work in developing standards for smart green technologies as well as earth observation radiocommunications, remote sensing, meteorological satellite services, and oceanographic radars. “ICTs are the key to building the future we want,” Dr Touré said.

ITU is working in close coordination with a coalition of governments and United Nations agencies as well as the ICT industry and other groups to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development and achieve “the future we want”. The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, 20-22 June 2012 in Rio de Janeiro brings together world leaders, along with thousands of participants from governments, the private sector, civil society and other groups to mark the 20th anniversary of the 1992 Earth Summit – the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development.

ITU will participate in a series of side events prior to Rio+20, emphasizing the need to strengthen the right to information and universal access to ICTs in the draft outcome document of the conference.

ITU events in Rio de Janeiro:

  • UN Day, “ICT and innovation for sustainable development”, 16 June, 15:00 – 16:00, Pavilhao do Governo do Estado de Rio de Janeiro, Athlete´s Park
  • UNGIS and ITU present “ICTs: the foundation of our sustainable future”, 17 June, 17:30 – 19:00, Room P3-6, Riocentro Conference
  • Ministry of Communication of Brazil and ITU present “Broadband and ICTs for smart, inclusive and sustainable societies”, 19 June, 15:00 – 18:30, Auditorium CNO-1, Atletas (off-site)

For more information, please see www.itu.int/rioplus20/  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
facebook www.itu.int/facebook
twitter www.itu.int/twitter


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