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International community commits to Global ICT Agenda for 2020

Connect 2020 Agenda sets out vision, goals and specific targets for future development of ICT sector

Busan, 6 November 2014 – A global agenda to shape the future of the ICT sector has been unanimously adopted at the ITU 2014 Plenipotentiary Conference (PP-14). Resolution WG-PL/9  ‘Connect 2020 Agenda for Global Telecommunication/ICT Development’ sets out the shared vision, goals and targets that Member States have committed to achieve by 2020 in collaboration with all stakeholders across the ICT ecosystem. ITU will contribute to Connect 2020 Agenda through its 2016-2019 Strategic Plan, which has also been adopted at PP-14.

Through the Connect 2020 Agenda ITU Member States committed to work towards "an information society, empowered by the interconnected world, where telecommunication/ICT enables and accelerates socially, economically and environmentally sustainable growth and development for everyone.”

The four pillars of the agenda – growth, inclusiveness, sustainability, and innovation and partnership – represent an invitation to all stakeholders, including the private sector, civil society and academia, to work together towards achieving agreed, quantifiable and specific targets. Building on the UN’s previous commitments to sustainable development as defined in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), the work of the UN Broadband Commission for Digital Development, and the on-going discussions on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, the Connect 2020 goals aim to ensure that telecommunications and ICTs act as key enablers of the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development.

ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Touré said, “The Connect 2020 Agenda ensures that we can join forces to harness the power of these technologies so that everyone around the world can benefit from access.”

171 ITU Member States present at the PP-14 conference universally endorsed the Connect 2020 Agenda. Opening Policy Statements from more than one hundred countries further emphasized national commitments. A series of roundtables during PP-14 with experts in the field, discussed the opportunities and challenges to achieving these goals and targets as well as assessing progress on this agenda.

Goal One, ‘Growth – enable and foster access to and increased use of telecommunications/ICTs’, commits to bring an additional 1.5 billion users online by 2020 with a particular focus on improved telecommunication infrastructures and increased access, use and affordability of ICTs.

ITU and its membership are committed to ensuring that everyone, without exception, benefits from ICTs. Goal Two, ‘Inclusiveness – bridge the digital divide and provide broadband for all’ aims to reduce the gaps in access, use and affordability while increasing broadband coverage, gender equality online and (ICT) accessibility.

ITU and its Member States commit to minimizing the potential negative impact of ICTs, such as cybersecurity threats, including harm to most vulnerable parts of the society, in particular children, and damaging effects on the environment, such as e-waste in Goal Three ‘Sustainability – manage challenges resulting from telecommunication/ICT development’.

Recognizing the continual need to adapt systems and practice, Goal Four ‘Innovation and Partnership – lead, improve and adapt to the changing telecommunication/ICT environment’ aims to ensure that advances in new technologies and strategic partnerships become a key driver for the post-2015 development agenda.

During the Opening Ceremony of the PP-14 in Busan, the Connect 2020 Agenda was highlighted by President Park Geun-hye in her opening address to some 3000 assembled delegates when she said: “I fully support the four goals of the ITU's Connect 2020: growth, inclusiveness, sustainability, and innovation. It is my firm belief that an 'inclusive ICT for sustainable growth' that allows everyone in the world to enjoy the benefits of telecommunications and ICT is the future of ICT that we must envision. Korea will do its utmost to support Connect 2020”.

Touré concluded: “With the adoption of its 2016-2019 Strategic Plan and Budget at PP-14, ITU is set to play its part in contributing to the Connect 2020 Agenda. The roll out of the Connect 2020 Agenda will now gather pace across the world, laying the groundwork for full mobilization of the global ICT sector, concentrated on implementation of specific and measurable targets towards the 2020 horizon.”

Note to Editors – Connect 2020 Goals and Targets at a glance.

Connect 2020: Global Telecommunication/ICT Goals and Targets

Goal 1 Growth – Enable and foster access to and increased use of telecommunication/ICT

- Target 1.1: Worldwide, 55% of households should have access to the Internet by 2020

- Target 1.2: Worldwide, 60% of individuals should be using the Internet by 2020

- Target 1.3: Worldwide, telecommunication/ICT should be 40% more affordable by 2020

Goal 2 Inclusiveness –Bridge the digital divide and provide broadband for all

- Target 2.1.A: In the developing world, 50% of households should have access to the Internet by 2020

- Target 2.1.B: In the least developed countries (LDCs), 15% of households should have access to the Internet by 2020

- Target 2.2.A: In the developing world, 50% of individuals should be using the Internet by 2020

- Target 2.2.B: In the least developed countries (LDCs), 20% of individuals should be using the Internet by 2020

- Target 2.3.A: The affordability gap between developed and developing countries should be reduced by 40% by 2020

- Target 2.3.B: Broadband services should cost no more than 5% of average monthly income in developing countries by 2020

- Target 2.4: Worldwide, 90% of the rural population should be covered by broadband services by 2020

- Target 2.5.A: Gender equality among Internet users should be reached by 2020

- Target 2.5.B: Enabling environments ensuring accessible telecommunication/ICT for persons with disabilities should be established in all countries by 2020

Goal 3 Sustainability – Manage challenges resulting from the telecommunication/ICT development

- Target 3.1: Cybersecurity readiness should be improved by 40% by 2020

- Target 3.2: Volume of redundant e-waste to be reduced by 50% by 2020

- Target 3.3: Greenhouse Gas emissions generated by the telecommunication/ICT sector to be decreased per device by 30% by 2020

Goal 4 Innovation and partnership – Lead, improve and adapt to the changing telecommunication/ICT environment

- Target 4.1: Telecommunication/ICT environment conducive to innovation

- Target 4.2: Effective partnerships of stakeholders in telecommunication/ICT environment

Interview with Tomas Lamanauskas, Head of ITU’s Corporate Strategy Division talking about the new Connect 2020 Agenda

Connect 2020 related blogs (ITU Blog): http://itu4u.wordpress.com/category/connect-2020/  

Connect 2020 related news (newslog): http://newslog.itu.int/archives/category/connect-2020

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Paul Conneally
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