the Young: the opportunities of ICT -
the video message *
In an increasingly networked world, the young are not only the beneficiaries but
often the driving force behind the latest innovations and practices, and for
many, the dependence on information and communication technologies (ICT) has
come to determine their choice of lifestyle. It is clearly our duty today to
provide the opportunities of ICT to all children and youth, particularly to
those who remain unconnected from the ongoing digital revolution.
The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) recognized young people as
the future workforce and earliest adopters of ICT and called for their
empowerment. In order to achieve this critical objective, national e-strategies
must address the special requirements of children, especially the disadvantaged
and marginalized, and ensure their full inclusion in the Information Society.
ICT are powerful tools to empower children and other vulnerable groups with
information and knowledge and act as a catalyst in ensuring their rights within
the comity of nations.
Marking its inception on 17 May 1865, ITU is the oldest international
organization in existence. Yet the Union is young at heart and remains at the
cutting edge of global communications. As world leaders declared at WSIS, ITU is
committed to developing ICT infrastructure and facilitating interoperability,
interconnection and global connectivity of networks and services, strengthening
the development of an enabling environment, and instilling confidence in the use
of ICTs by promoting cybersecurity. The Union is also committed to extending the
benefits of ICT to people any time, anywhere.
This year, we focus on integrating youth issues into ITU’s development
activities as a means of offering the young more opportunities and better choice
of options for the future. On the one hand, ICT must be utilized to enhance
capacity building among the young by improved e-learning and education. On the
other hand, we are committed to promoting their capabilities in utilizing ICT
towards the advancement of a better, more peaceful and productive world.
As we celebrate World Information Society Day, we invite all our stakeholders as
well as international organizations, non-governmental organizations and public
policy-makers to give children and young people around the world every possible
assistance in accessing ICT. This is critical for the young as a means of
learning, sharing information and knowledge, improving their health and
nutrition, and communicating with other children and youth.
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.
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