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World Information Society Day focuses on the
ITU announces awards to three laureates
Geneva, 16 May 2007 — World
Information Society Day, 17 May 2007 is dedicated this year to making available
the benefits of the digital revolution to young people everywhere. The World
Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) recognized the young as the future
workforce and the earliest adopters of ICT, and called for their empowerment as
key contributors to building an inclusive Information Society. World leaders
stated their commitment at the Summit in Tunis to actively engage youth in
innovative ICT-based development programmes and widen opportunities for them. 17
May marks the establishment of ITU in 1865 and has been celebrated as World
In his message on World Information Society Day, focusing this year on the
theme ‘Connecting the Young’, UN Secretary-General Mr Ban Ki-moon said,
"Young people are among the most prolific and knowledgeable users of ICT. I urge
policy-makers and industry leaders to put their minds together and to work
cooperatively with children and youth to produce suitable technologies,
applications and services to facilitate access to information and communication
technologies." He added that young people with access to ICT often surge ahead
in their quest for knowledge, and find it possible to "leapfrog" communication
barriers with considerable ease.
"In an increasingly networked world, the young are not only the beneficiaries
but often the driving force behind the latest innovations and practices," Dr
Hamadoun Touré, ITU Secretary-General, said in his message. "The key to
achieving the development aspirations of the world’s inhabitants lies in
investing in the future generation, especially by improving access to
communication among today’s children and enhancing their capacities."
This year, ITU focuses on integrating youth issues into the development of
information and communication technologies and services as a means of offering
the young more opportunities and better choice of options for the future. ITU’s
youth programme active since 2003 lays strong emphasis on capacity building,
education and work experience in ICT. The Youth Education Scheme "YES" extends
scholarships to future leaders in telecommunication and related fields, mainly
from least developed and developing countries.
Princess of Qatar launches campaign to support ITU youth
HRH Sheikha Al-Mayassa Bint Hamad Al-Thani, Princess of Qatar and Chair of
the Reach out to Asia initiative will launch a campaign along with ITU to
secure CHF 2 Million to support 250 new scholarships in addition to creating
1000 new internship opportunities within the next three years, by 2010. "I am
very pleased to launch this campaign together with ITU and to promote access to
ICT education and work opportunities for young people," Sheikha Al-Mayassa said.
"It is essential that governments, industry, international organizations and
civil society come together to help youth around the world participate in the
social and economic development of their communities by leveraging the potential
of education and information and communication technologies."
ITU’s youth programmes are supported by Member States as well as the private
sector, including ALCATEL-Lucent and Thales Communications (France), ANACOM
(Portugal), National Telecommunication Institute (Egypt), NOKIA Corporation
(Finland) and Vodafone (U.K).
ITU World Information Society Award announced
The highlight of the global event marking the World Day will be the
presentation of the ITU World Information Society Award. H.E. Dr Margarita Cedeño de Fernández, First Lady of the Dominican Republic, Ms Mitchell Baker, on behalf of
Mozilla Corporation of the United States, and Professor Mark Krivocheev of the Russian Federation are the 2007 laureates.
Last year’s laureates were H.E. President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal and
Professor Muhammad Yunus, Managing Director of Grameen bank, who subsequently
won the Nobel Peace Prize. The ITU World Information Society Award
honours those who have made a significant personal contribution towards building
the information society. Personal achievement may take the form of social
accomplishment, mobilization of public opinion, or a key technical innovation.
Dr Cedeño de Fernández has contributed to making technological services
available to inhabitants of the most impoverished areas of the Dominican
Republic, empowering them to become a part of the development process and
contribute towards the social, cultural and economic advancement of the country.
135 Community Technology Centres provide telecommunication and ICT services,
focusing on programmes that include women and young girls.
The Mozilla Corporation is a global community and public
benefit organization dedicated to improving the Internet experience for people
everywhere. Its mission is to develop world-class, open source, fully
standards-compliant Internet technologies and applications. Its software is
available for download free of charge and anyone can have access to the source
code and may modify it and redistribute it subject to the Mozilla public
license. Ms Mitchell Baker, described as the Chief Lizard Wrangler at Mozilla,
seeks to integrate open source development techniques with the world of
commercial software development.
Professor Mark Krivocheev receives a lifetime award for his work in
developing subjective assessments of the quality of television pictures, in
particular high–definition television (HDTV). Following the adoption of the
Recommendations on HDTV by the International Radio Consultative Committee (CCIR)
at ITU, Prof Krivocheev received worldwide acclaim and was accorded the
Chevalier de l’Ordre National de Mérite of France.
New website monitors progress on building the information
A number of steps related to the implementation of the action lines of the
World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) will be taken in a cluster of
events in Geneva, 14−25 May 2007. See
In order to evaluate progress on WSIS implementation at the national level,
ITU has solicited inputs through a
to provide visibility for country
initiatives and best practices while facilitating collaborative efforts to move
forward. A number of countries have already submitted their contributions.
For further information, please contact
Tel: +41 22 730 6135
Mobile: +41 79 249 4861
About World Information Society Day
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