— The First Global ICT Forum
for Least Developed Countries (LDCs), co-organized by ITU and the Commonwealth
Business Council will be held in Mauritius from 7-9 July 2004. It will bring
together high-level decision makers to identify innovative development solutions
and practical strategies for deploying Information and Communication
Technologies (ICTs) projects to help integrate the poorest countries into the
The Global Forum is an essential step in meeting the targets for improved
access and connectivity by 2015, endorsed by 175 Member States at the first
phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). In order to achieve
the vision of a global inclusive information society, as outlined by the WSIS
Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action, the needs of the least developed
countries must be accounted for. The scale and magnitude of this challenge makes
partnership building essential.
The Forum will include a mixture of plenary and multi-stakeholder
roundtables. A panel discussion will provide LDC ministers with an opportunity
to give a first hand account of the challenges they face in overcoming obstacles
to achieving development objectives such as the WSIS targets and the United
Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
"To leverage the potential of ICTs for sustainable universal access, a
coordinated approach by all those involved is of paramount importance," said
Hamadoun Touré, Director of the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau. "The
Global Forum provides a platform for the sharing of experiences and ideas, and
the mapping out and coordination of strategies that can help the least developed
countries in their effort to attain and even go beyond the Millennium
Development Goals set to be achieved by 2015. Our actions must be complimentary
to each other if the outcome is to be successful."
The Forum will also focus on identifying ICT projects that have been
successfully implemented, projects that need support to continue and proposals
for new projects and exchange of views with the donor community. As well, the
private sector, in its role in supporting government initiatives through
public-private partnerships, will showcase initiatives, strategies and products.
"The ICT Stakeholder forum is an ideal opportunity for ICT stakeholders from
across the Commonwealth and beyond to interact. The Forum will achieve what most
other similar events do not: results. And chiefly, Least Developed Countries
have an unparalleled opportunity at the Forum to examine how ICTs can be
deployed to help them achieve their Millennium Development Goals", said Dr Mohan
Kaul, CEO of the Commonwealth Business Council.
More information including the full agenda is available