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Published:May 17th, 2007 05:02 EST
Information Technology, World Youth Need More Access

Information Technology, World Youth Need More Access

By SOP newswire

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged policymakers and industry leaders to work together with young people to give more of them access to information and communications technology (ICT).

“In many instances, young people are the driving force behind innovation in the development and use of new technologies,” Mr. Ban said in a message on World Telecommunication and Information Society Day, which is being observed under the theme Connect the Young.

“But the digital chasm leaves others out of this picture, and unable to capitalize fully on the benefits of globalization,” he said. “Young people everywhere must have equal opportunities to rise out of poverty and illiteracy, and to realize their full potential,” he added.

Pointing out that the UN's International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has been helping the world to communicate from the advent of the telegraph to the present, he said the entire UN system, following the World summit on the Information Society, is now committed to strongly linking ICT with development.

“So let us promote visionary public policies, innovative business models and creative technological solutions that will empower young people and engage them in the global effort to achieve the Millennium Development Goals,” Mr. Ban urged, referring to the internationally agreed targets for reducing poverty and other world ills by 2015.

Also marking the International Day today, 16 UN information centres (UNICs) that provide communication services to 34 countries in sub-Saharan Africa today launched new websites in an effort to bring the work of the UN closer to local constituencies.

In addition to news generated by UN Headquarters, the UN Country Teams and the UNICs themselves, the websites will host translations, into more than 20 national languages, of key UN documents, as well as providing a variety of links to UN system websites and programmes, according to UNIC Pretoria, which is responsible for ongoing maintenance and updating of the sites.

The websites will be based at the UNICs in Ghana, Madagascar, Eritrea, Republic of Congo, Burundi, Senegal, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Togo, Zambia, Lesotho, Burkina Faso, South Africa, Namibia and Cameroon.