UN meeting to explore power of information technology to fight poverty

UN meeting to explore power of information technology to fight poverty

Expert members of the United Nations Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) Task Force will open a meeting in New York on Sunday geared towards harnessing the power of those innovations to advance development and poverty eradication.

The two-day meeting will be chaired by the former President of Costa Rica, José María Figueres Olsen, who is also Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Special Representative for ICT.

Key issues on the agenda include ICT policy and governance, human resource development, resource mobilization, low-cost connectivity, and business enterprise. Task Force members will also explore ways to contribute to the Word Summit on the Information Society, which will be held in 2003 in Geneva and in 2005 in Tunis.

Meanwhile, in Addis Ababa, the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) announced today that 26 African women from 16 countries have graduated from the Cisco Internet Networking Academy, which is part of an ECA programme geared towards promoting equal access to ICT.

The initiative was developed in the context of the Secretary-General's Global Compact, which advocates partnerships between the UN and the private sector. ECA launched the programme in collaboration with Cisco Systems Inc. and the World Bank with support from the Republic of Korea.

The next training session is scheduled to begin in March.