International Telecommunication Union   ITU
عربي  |  中文  |  Español  |  Français  |  Русский
 Advanced Search Advanced Search Site Map Contact us Print Version
Home : Themes : Climate Change

UNGIS SIDE EVENT - 17 JUNE 2012 - 17h30 to 19h
20-22 June 2012
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Share | |
Home | ITU inputs to Rio+20  | News and resources | Secretary-General's messages

ITU Events during the conference

ICTs, the foundation of our sustainable future

Download our flyer for the conference

About Rio+20

Rio+20 is an alternative name given to the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD). Held to mark of the 20th anniversary of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNECD or Earth Summit), Rio+20 will take place in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) on 20-22 June 2012.

ICTs, the foundation of our sustainable future

Sunday, 17 June 2012 – 17h30 to  19h
Room P3-6 at RioCentro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Information and communication technologies (ICTs) play a critical role to promote the integration of the three pillars of sustainable development. ICTs advance social equity and progress, enable sustainable economic growth and reinforce environmental protection initiatives. 

ICTs are the most inclusive infrastructure on the planet, with 90% of the world population connected to mobile services and over one third connected to the Internet. ICTs are a truly unique platform for progress that creates wealth, optimize the use of natural resources, enables a low carbon economy and give equitable access to basic public services, such as health care and education. ICTs play a pivotal role in monitoring, predicting and detecting natural disasters. Using these technologies to mitigate disasters contributes to saving human life, protecting infrastructure, and supporting economic activity leading to sustainable development.

The role of ICTs is already recognized in Chapter 40 of Agenda 21, which highlights information systems as key elements to achieve sustainable development. Twenty years later, the transformational role of ICTs has become even more visible, introducing some of the major economic and social evolutions that have taken place in the last two decades. Today we can seay that ICTs are a unique platform for a progress that creates wealth, optimize the use of natural resources, enables a low carbon economy and give equitable access to basic public services, such as health care and education.

The side event “ICTs: the foundation of our sustainable future” will look at specific ICT applications and services that can assist in the transition towards a green economy, focusing on the key role that policies, regulations and international standards, play to allow for the uptake of ICT applications. The event will include presentations and discussion on:
  • Country-led initiatives to promote social inclusion, accelerate the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and increase access to public services through the use of ICTs;

  • Initiatives lead by international organizations to promote the use of ICTs to monitor the climate and reinforce environmental protection, including those using satellite imagery to monitor deforestation;

  • Industry-led innovative green applications that promote sustainable economic growth, such as smart grids, smart buildings, intelligent transport systems;

  • Guidelines and standards on the use of ICTs for the reduction of energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for environmental protection and mitigating climate change;

  • How ICTs have across the globe contributed to saving human life before and during emergencies through the establishment of effective monitoring systems, setting up of appropriate early warning systems and efficient systems for timely response.

Format of the event

  • Introductory remarks
    • Message from UNGIS Chair, Mr Supachai Panitchpakdi, Secretary-General UNCTAD [biography]
    •  Message from ITU Secretary-General, Mr Fabio Leite on behalf of Dr Hamadoun Toure, UNGIS Co-chair [biography]

  •  ICTs, advancing social equity and progress
    • Ms Lakshmi Puri, Deputy Executive Director, Intergovernmental Support and Strategic Partnerships Bureau; Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations, UNWOMEN [biography]
    • Mr Alberto Sandoval, Senior Natural Resources Manager FAO [biography]
    • Ms Gretchen Kalonji, Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences UNESCO [biography]
    • Mr Cosmas Zavazava, Head, projects and knowledge management department, ITU [biography]

  • ICTs, reinforcing environmental protection and climate monitoring
    • Mr Christian Blondin, Director Cabinet of the Secretary-General and External Relations Department,  World Meteorological Organization [biography]
    • Mr James Fahn,  Global Director of Internews’ Environmental Programs and directs Internews’ Earth Journalism Network [biography]

  • ICTs, enabling sustainable economic growth
    • Mr Jan Dusík, Acting Director and Regional Representative Regional Office for Europe UNEP [biography]
    • Mr Joe Bradley,  Head, Intergovernmental Organizations and Partnerships Section, WIPO [biography]
    • Mr Sergio Yamada, Global Coordinator of Climate Change projects and Green ICTs, Telefónica [biography]

  • Conclusions and final message to the conference  

The event will be moderated by Mr Gary Fowlie, Head of the ITU Liaison Office to the United Nations [biography]

Relevant links


BIOS OF THE SPEAKERS (listed alphabetically by surname)

Christian Blondin
Mr Christian Blondin, WMO
Mr Christian Blondin is the Director Cabinet of the Secretary-General and External Relations Department  of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).  Mr Blondin began his career in 1977 in the Direction of the National Meteorology within the Establishment of Meteorological Studies and Researches as researcher, then project manager, in Paris then in Toulouse. He joins the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) in Reading (United Kingdom) in 1985. Back to France in 1989, he works in Paris successively in the Central Service of Meteorological Operations, then in 1992 as head of the division of Planning of the Strategy Department. In 1996, he is nominated Interregional Director for the Ile-de-France and the Centre of Météo-France. In 2009, he became Senior External Relations Officer within the Secretariat of the World Meteorological Organization in Geneva, and since 2011 he is Director of Cabinet of the Secretary-General and External Relations Department.

Joe Bradley
Mr Joe Bradley, WIPO
Mr Joe Bradley is the Head of the Intergovernmental Organizations and Partnerships Section, which is part of the Department of External Relations, at WIPO. His work focuses on WIPO’s engagement with the UN system and developing partnerships with intergovernmental and other international organizations.  His responsibilities include the development and implementation of the organization’s Partnership and Resource Mobilization Strategy which includes partnership with the private sector and is aimed at supporting developing countries to access partners and resources for IP for development projects.   Prior to that Joe was Head of Program Management and Performance Section at WIPO.  Previously, Joe worked for the UK Diplomatic Service covering a range of jobs at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London and at Embassies and Missions in Geneva, Berlin, Vienna, Lusaka and Lisbon.
Jan Dusik
Jan Dusik, UNEP
Mr Jan Dusík was born in Plzeň, Czech Republic. Jan Durik joined UNEP in July 2011 as the Deputy Director of the Regional Office for Europe. Over the years in the Czech civil service, Jan has been active in international environmental relations, both bilateral and multilateral. He was the Head of the Delegation of the Czech Republic to numerous meetings of parties of multilateral conventions and international organisations and their bodies (e.g. EU, UNEP, UN CSD, UN ECE, OECD). He served as the Vice - President of the Bureau of the UNEP Governing Council for 2007-2009, as the Chairman of the Committee of the Whole during the 24th session and 10th special session of the UNEP Governing Council. He was the Chairman of the Bureau of the Aarhus Convention for the period 2008-2011 and chaired the 4th Meeting of Parties to the Convention in 2011.  
James Fahn
Mr James Fahn,  Internews
MrJames Fahn is Executive Director of Internews' Earth Journalism Network and Global Director of Environmental Programs. Fahn is a journalist who has primarily focused on environmental issues in developing countries. He previously worked for the Ford Foundation as a program associate in the field of environment and development. For nine years during the 1990s, Fahn was based in Thailand where he was a reporter and editor for The Nation, an English-language daily newspaper based in Bangkok, and hosted a television show. His book, "A Land on Fire," published in 2003, recounts the issues and scandals he uncovered while working on the environmental beat in Southeast Asia. Fahn writes a monthly Earth Journalism column for the Columbia Journalism Review, and he has also written for Newsweek, The New York Times, The Economist and the San Francisco Chronicle. He holds a master's degree in international affairs from Columbia University.
Gary Fowlie
Mr Gary Fowlie, ITU
Mr Gary Fowlie has been the head of the Liaison office of the International Telecommunication Union to the United Nations since 2009.. Fowlie is an Economist and Journalist. He was a Producer/Reporter for the news service of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for 10 years and a freelance reporter for The Economist. Mr. Fowlie was responsible for communications for the UN World Summit on the Information Society (2003 and 2005) and from 2005 until 2009 was the Chief of Media Liaison for the United Nations in New York. Mr. Fowlie is a graduate of the Universities of Alberta, Alabama and the London School of Economics.

Gretchen Kalonj 
Ms Gretchen Kalonj, UNESCO
Ms Gretchen Kalonj, Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences in UNESCO, took up office on 1 July 2010. In 2006, she was appointed as distinguished honorary professor at Sichuan University, Chengdu, and a visiting professor at Beijing's Qinghua University. Prior to 2005, Professor Kalonji was the first women to hold an endowed chair – the Kyocera Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Washington (UW) Seattle, where she developed creative approaches to internationalization and to the transformation of science and engineering education. At UW, she led a campus-wide effort to integrate collaborative international research activities into the academic curriculum, across disciplines and from freshmen to doctoral level.  
Fabio Leite 
Mr Fabio Leite, ITU
Mr Fabio Leite has extensive experience in the field of radiocommunications, having taken on varied responsibilities both in ITU and in his native Brazil, in government as well as industry.  Fabio is currently the Deputy-Director and Chief, Informatics, Administration and Publications Department of the Radiocommunication Bureau. Since joining ITU in 1987, he has worked as satellite communications engineer, counsellor for mobile radio services and for fixed wireless systems, and manager of International Mobile Telecommunications-2000 (IMT 2000), ITU’s third generation mobile communications project. He has also served as executive secretary in several ITU world radiocommunication conferences. Before joining ITU, Mr Leite worked for EMBRATEL, the Brazilian long-distance telecommunication carrier, where he was responsible for the communications system engineering of the first Brazilian domestic satellite system, BRAZILSAT.
Supachai Panitchpakdi,
Mr Supachai Panitchpakdi, UNCTAD
Mr Supachai Panitchpakdi began his second four-year term as Secretary- General of UNCTAD on 1 September 2009, following his unanimous confirmation by the United Nations General Assembly.  Born in Bangkok on 30 May 1946, Dr. Supachai received his Master’s Degree in Econometrics, Development Planning, and his PhD in Economic Planning and Development, at the Netherlands School of Economics (now known as Erasmus University) in Rotterdam. In 1986, Dr. Supachai was elected to the Thai Parliament and appointed Deputy Minister of Finance. In 1988, he was appointed Director and Advisor, and subsequently President, of the Thai Military Bank. In 1992, Dr. Supachai was appointed Senator, and that same year he became Deputy Prime Minister, entrusted with oversight of the country’s economic and trade policymaking. In this role he was actively involved in international trade policy, and represented Thailand at the signing ceremony in Marrakech of the Uruguay Round Agreement in 1994. He was also active in shaping regional agreements, including Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Asia- Europe Meeting (ASEM). From September 2002 to August 2005, Dr. Supachai served as Director-General of the World Trade Organization.

Lakshmi Puri
Ms Lakshmi Puri, UNWOMEN
Ms Lakshmi Puri is the Assistant Secretary-General for Intergovernmental Support and Strategic Partnerships at the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women). Ms. Puri has more than 37 years’ experience in economic and development policy-making as well as in political, peace and security, humanitarian and human rights–related diplomacy. More than twenty years of these have been in relation to the United Nations system. From 2007 to 2009 she was acting Deputy Secretary- General of UNCTAD.  She was appointed Director in the Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Islands Developing States in December 2009, and she has been actively directing the preparations for the United Nations LDC IV conference held in Istanbul in 2011.  

Alberto Sandoval
Mr Alberto Sandoval, FAO
Mr Alberto Sandoval is Senior Natural Resources Manager of FAO 
Mr Sergio Yamada, Telefónica    Mr Sergio Yamada is  Global coordinator of Climate Change projects and Green ICTs in Telefónica

Alberto Sandoval
Mr Cosmas Zavazava, ITU
Mr Cosmas L. Zavazava is the Head, projects and knowledge management department within the Telecommunication Development Bureau of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). He has extensive experience in fund raising, formulating and implementing ICT projects for the general development of countries, and for the effective management of disasters including climate change adaptation. He has written articles/papers and a host of books on this subject.  Cosmas Zavazava spent many years as Head of Government Telecommunications Agency in Zimbabwe, and has extensive experience as a senior diplomat and negotiator at both bilateral and multilateral levels. He also taught MBA classes at Nottingham Trent University.  


Top - Feedback - Contact Us -  Copyright © ITU 2012 All Rights Reserved
Contact for this page : Strategic Planning and Membership Department
Updated : 2012-06-15