UN chief urges greater use of digital technology to improve living conditions

08:58, May 18, 2010      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

UN Secretary-general Ban Ki- moon on Monday urged the world to harness the power of telecommunications and information technologies to improve life- saving services, promote sustainable development and foster international peace.

"The United Nations is committed to ensuring that people everywhere have equitable access to information and communication technologies," the secretary-general said in a message to mark the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day.

"On this International Day, let us resolve to fully harness the great potential of the digital revolution in the service of life- saving relief operations, sustainable development and lasting peace," Ban said.

Ban notes that the use of telecommunications was crucial to saving lives in the wake of the earthquake that devastated Haiti in January. Communications technologies were used to coordinate aid and to provide desperately sought information about victims, he said.

"The (UN) International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and its commercial partners contributed scores of satellite terminals and helped to provide wireless communications to help disaster relief and clean-up efforts," he said, lauding efforts by the ITU and its partners to promote broadband access in rural and remote areas around the world.

"Greater access can mean faster progress toward the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)," the secretary-general said, referring to the poverty alleviation and social development targets that countries have agreed to make efforts to achieve by 2015.

"The Internet drives trade, commerce and even education. Telemedicine is improving health care. Earth monitoring satellites are being used to address climate change. And green technologies are promoting cleaner cities," said Ban. "As these innovations grow in importance, so, too, does the need to bridge the digital divide."

The theme of this year's observance of the day is "Better Cities, Better Life with ICTs." Ban said that the theme was a reminder that communications technologies must be employed -- and disposed of -- in a manner that raises living standards while protecting the environment.



  • Do you have anything to say?


Special Coverage
  • Premier Wen Jiabao visits Hungary, Britain, Germany
  • From drought to floods
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • On Sept. 26, a resident passes by a flower terrace decorated for the coming National Day. (Xinhua/Hang Xingwei)
  • The photo, taken on Sept. 26, shows the SWAT team ready for the joint exercise. (Xinhua/Wangkai)
  • Two metro trains in Shanghai collided Tuesday afternoon, and an identified number of passengers were injured in the accident, the Shanghai-based eastday.com reported. Equipment failures were believed to have caused the crash on the Line 10 subway, Xinhua quoted local subway operator as saying.
  • An employee at a gold store in Yiwu, located in east China's Zhejiang province, shows gold jewelry on Monday.(Xinhua/Zhang Jiancheng)
  • Tourists ride camels near China's largest desert lake Hongjiannao in Yulin, north China's Shaanx Province, Sept. 24, 2011. Hongjiannao is shrinking as a result of climate change and human activities, and may vanish in a few decades. Its lake area, which measured more than 6,700 hectares in 1996, has shrunk to 4,180 hectares. Its water level is declining by 20-30 centimeters annually and its water PH value has risen to 9.0-9.42 from 7.4-7.8. (Xinhua/Liu Yu)
  • Actors perform royal dance at the Gyeongbok Palace in Seoul, Sept. 27, 2011. A ceremony commemorating the 38th South Korea Sightseeing Day was held in Gyeongbok Palace on Tuesday. (Xinhua/He Lulu)
Hot Forum Discussion