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ICTs are key drivers for a sustainable future

UN agencies, governments and industry at Rio+20 stress catalytic role of ICTs in meeting development goals

Geneva, 18 June 2012 – In the run up to the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, ITU and the United Nations Group on the Information Society focused attention on “ICTs: The foundation of our sustainable future”. Discussions centred on the catalytic impact ICTs have on all three pillars of sustainable development – economic growth, social inclusion and environmental sustainability.

The event in Rio de Janeiro outlined the critical role of ICTs as cross-cutting drivers of sustainable development, identifying specific ICT applications and services that can assist in the transition towards a green economy. Attention focused on policies, regulations and international standards that could facilitate the uptake of ICT applications. Participants stressed the need to strengthen the right to information and universal access to ICTs as a means of achieving the sustainable development goals of the future and to include this in the outcome document of the Rio+20 Conference.

Participants included a diverse group of experts from UN agencies, such as FAO, ITU, UNEP, UNESCO, UN WOMEN and WMO as well as industry representatives such as Telefónica. Mr Supachai Panitchpakdi, Secretary-General UNCTAD and Chairman of the United Nations Group on the Information Society (UNGIS) led the discussion with Mr Fabio Leite, Deputy Director of ITU’s Radiocommunication Bureau, representing ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré.

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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