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Information technology central to quest for development, dignity, peace,

Secretary-General tells global alliance


Following is the text of the video message by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for the opening session of the meeting of the Steering Committee of the Global Alliance for Information and Communication Technologies and Development, today in Santa Clara, California:

Information and communications technologies have a central role to play in the quest for development, dignity and peace.

The international consensus on this point is clear.  We saw it at the 2000 Millennium Summit and at the 2005 World Summit.  And we saw it in the two phases of the World Summit on the Information Society.

With the launch of the Global Alliance for ICT and Development last March, the international community has taken that consensus a crucial step further.  The Alliance is well placed to promote the use of ICT in fighting poverty, illiteracy and disease, in protecting the environment and empowering women and girls.

It is important that you work as a true partnership of all essential stakeholders -- Governments, civil society, the private sector, academia and others.  All of you are needed if we are to succeed.

So let us use all our energy and innovation to harness ICT to our work towards the Millennium Development Goals.  Let us turn the digital divide into digital opportunity.  Let us promote new business models, public policies and technology solutions in the global approach to development.

The United Nations family is a willing and able partner in that process.  I send you my best wishes for a successful meeting, and look forward to learning about your progress.

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For information media. Not an official record.