Committed to connecting the world

ICTs for a Sustainable World #ICT4SDG

Speech by ITU Secretary-General, Dr Hamadoun I. Touré

Third Meeting of the Broadband Commission for Digital Development
Working Group on Youth

6 June 2011, Paris, France

Distinguished Commissioners,
Ladies and gentlemen,

It is a huge pleasure to be the Chair of the Broadband Commission Working Group on Youth, and I am delighted to be able to report today on our progress so far.

We met for the first time in Geneva on 17 May, and brought together high-level experts and over 50 students and interns to brainstorm some of the complex issues raised by Commissioners and gain a ‘younger’ perspective on these.

All the participants were given a homework assignment: “Think about what a fully-connected would look like to you, and then identify five golden rules which should govern this world”.

We used a tremendous series of interactive sessions to brainstorm these issues – and I’d like to share a very short video with you at this point which gives some idea of the way we worked…
[Play short video]
The collective vision of the group was distilled into five ‘golden rules’, which I think are very interesting and revealing too:

Educate according to culture

Protect me and my data

Adaptive legal frameworks

Think across borders

Don't limit access

We took these rules into a second breakout session, which brought participants in groups of ten to look at areas which they thought could most benefit from broadband technologies. These groups focused on health; young entrepreneurs; global voices; peace and democracy; and knowledge sharing.

These discussions resulted in the visual document you can see here, which is the initial outcome of the Working Group on Youth – and I recommend you taking the time to have a look in more detail.

My hope, as chair of the Working Group, would be to see this document expanded to include input from young people from many diverse backgrounds, to make it as inclusive and collaborative as possible.

A finalized version will then be presented at the Broadband Leadership Summit in October, as a young people’s visual vision statement – with the intention that it be used to generate publicity and support for our Commission, and at the same time emphasize the vital role that young people are already playing in this industry.

As many of you will know, 2011 is the UN Year of Youth, and I would therefore like to invite all interested Commissioners to become a member of this Working Group, and help us identify ways and means of leveraging the work we are doing.

As a father – and a grandfather! – I am particularly excited about the work of this creative and energetic group, and I look forward to hearing your comments and welcome your suggestions and support.

Thank you.