Skip to main content
PI/1761

UNITED NATIONS MEETS SILICON VALLEY IN INITIATIVE TO PROVIDE DEVELOPING WORLD WITH BENEFITS OF INFORMATION, COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY

UNITED NATIONS MEETS SILICON VALLEY IN INITIATIVE TO PROVIDE DEVELOPING WORLD


WITH BENEFITS OF INFORMATION, COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY

 


28 February Event Gathers High-Tech, Academic, Venture Capital Communities


The Strategy Council of the Global Alliance for ICT and Development, a United Nations initiative to bring the benefits of information technology to developing countries, will meet with Silicon Valley’s high-tech industry on 28February.


At the event -- to be held at Mountain View’s Computer History Museum and jointly organized by Intel Corporation, prominent members of industry, academia and the venture capital community -- will join Global Alliance members to identify areas where the United Nations and Silicon Valley can work together to expand the benefits of information and communication technology (ICT) in the developing world.  Intel Corporation Chairman Craig Barrett, Chair of the Global Alliance, will host the meeting.


“Increasing access to technology will be a critical driver of economic growth in emerging economies,” Mr. Barrett said, “but it will require Silicon Valley’s leaders and the public sector to work together to make their respective programmes more impactful.  This forum is designed to foster discussion and, more importantly, create action.”


Some 250 people are expected to attend.  Global Alliance participants include Datuk Seri Dr Jamaludin Jarjis, Malaysia’s Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation; Ali Abbasov, Azerbaijan’s Minister for Communications and Information Technology; Hamadoun I. Touré, Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union; Farrukh Qayyum, Pakistan’s Secretary for Information Technology and Telecom; Walter Fust, Director-General of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation; and Guy Sebban, Secretary General of the International Chamber of Commerce.


Silicon Valley participants include executives from communications, hardware, Internet, software and venture capital firms.  Among them are Eric A. Brewer, Director, Intel Research Berkeley; John Davies, Vice-President, Intel World Ahead Program; Georg Haubs, Senior Vice-President and Chief Technology Officer for Innovation, Nokia Siemens Networks; Andrew M. Isaacs, Executive Director, Management of Technology Program, University of California-Berkeley; Wayne Johnson, Vice-President for Worldwide University Relations, Hewlett Packard; Andrew McLaughlin, Head of Global Public Policy, Google; Claudia Fan Munce, Managing Director and Vice-President, IBM Venture Capital Group; Art Reilly, Senior Director, Cisco Systems; William Schoch, Vice-President and Director of Emerging Markets, Visa International; and Fred Tipson, Director for International Organizations and Development, Microsoft.


“The United Nations sees the private sector as bringing a lot to the table -- abundant resources, capacity and an entrepreneurial spirit,” said Global Alliance Executive Coordinator Sarbuland Khan.  “Business fuels innovation, and so many of the world’s problems are crying out for innovative solutions.”


Panel discussions will examine what is on the minds of Silicon Valley’s innovators regarding science and technology for development; case studies of private-public sector collaboration; relevant content in developing countries; and venture capital and the internationally agreed Millennium Development Goals.


“There is a need to find innovative business solutions and to invest in the right technologies for the 1 billion people without access to ICT,” Mr. Khan said.  “Developing pro-poor business models and technology solutions that can make the market grow also enhance profits for those who have the courage to think beyond the traditional modes.”


The event’s opening remarks by Mr. Barrett, Mr. Touré and Mr. Qayyum will be available at http://un-webcast.edgesuite.net/un/index.htm at 8:30 a.m. (Pacific Daylight Time).  A press conference featuring Mr. Barrett, Mr. Khan and Mr. Touré will be webcast at http://un-webcast.edgesuite.net/qa/index.htm at 9:45 a.m. (Pacific Daylight Time).  Podcast interviews related to this event are available on the “About Intel” channel intelpr.feedroom.com.


The event will be preceded on 27 February by a meeting of the Global Alliance Steering Committee.  At the meeting, to be held at Intel’s headquarters in Santa Clara, participants will focus on the next steps for reaching the objectives of the Alliance, and discuss the ways in which they can contribute to the implementation of the Business Plan.


Participants will pay special attention to the Alliance’s Flagship Partnership Initiatives, such as improving broadband connectivity in Africa and expanding telecentres in developing countries.  Parallel sessions on the Alliance’s Communities of Expertise, organized by area of focus, will facilitate discussion on how these networks of experts can contribute to the objectives of the Global Alliance.


The Alliance, an initiative of the Secretary-General to promote effective use of information and communication technology for development, held its inaugural meeting last June in Kuala Lumpur.


For further information, please visit www.un-gaid.org or contact Enrica Murmura at the Global Alliance secretariat, tel: 212 963 5913, e-mail: murmura@un.org; Timothy Wall at the Department of Public Information, tel: 212 963 5851, e-mail: wallt@un.org; or Laura Anderson at Intel Corporation, tel: 480 552-9020, e-mail: laura.m.anderson@intel.com.


* *** *

For information media. Not an official record.