The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Declaration recognizes that "the spread of information and communication technology and global interconnectedness has great potential to accelerate human progress, to bridge the digital divide and to develop knowledge societies, as does scientific and technological innovation across areas as diverse as medicine and energy". Goal 9c calls to "significantly increase access to ICT and strive to provide universal and affordable access to Internet in the LDCs by 2020".
ITU has mainstreamed the needs of LDCs in all its activities, programmes and projects to achieve its commitments under the Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA) 2011-2020
. The IPoA, adopted by the Fourth UN Conference on the LDCs in Istanbul, Turkey, in 2011. It is a result-oriented programme of action for the sustainable development of LDCs. The IPoA recognizes ICT networks as an infrastructure priority on par with water, electricity, and transport, and includes a call to "significantly increase access to telecommunication services and strive to provide 100 per cent access to the Internet by 2020".
ITU's mandate is to connect the unconnected and to help the most vulnerable countries take advantage of ICTs for development, including through the provision of concentrated assistance
. Find out more
about ITU's projects and initiatives in the LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS.