Better city, better life with ICTs
In today’s world, telecommunications are more than just a basic service –
they are a means to promote development, improve society and save lives. This
will be all the more true in the world of tomorrow.
The importance of telecommunications was on display in the wake of the
earthquake which devastated Haiti earlier this year. Communications technologies
were used to coordinate aid, optimize resources and provide desperately sought
information about the victims. The International Telecommunications Union (ITU)
and its commercial partners contributed scores of satellite terminals and helped
to provide wireless communications to help disaster relief and clean-up efforts.
I welcome those efforts and, more broadly, the work of ITU and others to promote
broadband access in rural and remote areas around the world.
Greater access can mean faster progress toward the Millennium Development Goals
(MDGs). The Internet drives trade, commerce and even education. Telemedicine is
improving health care. Earth monitoring satellites are being used to address
climate change. And green technologies are promoting cleaner cities.
In today’s world,
telecommunications are more than just a basic service – they
are a means to promote development, improve society and save lives.
As these innovations grow in importance, so, too, does the need to bridge the
The theme of this year’s observance, “Better Cities, Better Life with ICTs,” is
a reminder that communications technologies must be employed – and disposed of –
in a manner that raises living standards while protecting the environment.
The United Nations is committed to ensuring that people everywhere have
equitable access to information and communication technologies. On this
International Day, let us resolve to fully harness the great potential of the
digital revolution in the service of life-saving relief operations, sustainable
development and lasting peace.