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UN task force seeks to boost use of information technology for development

UN task force seeks to boost use of information technology for development

The United Nations Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Task Force opened a two-day meeting in Geneva today in a bid to help reduce the gap between information-haves and have-nots by joining the resources of the private sector, civil society and the UN system.

Uniting government representatives, business leaders and academics, the meeting, the Task Force’s first in Europe, will focus mainly on its vital role in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a set of targets adopted by world leaders at the UN Millennium Summit in 2000 for development and poverty eradication by 2015.

The broader aim of discussions will be to help develop approaches to providing content to the upcoming World Summit on the Information Society in Geneva in December 2003, as well as to build alliances for action. The Task Force will follow up its previous meeting with a review of efforts to jump-start ICT-for-development in Africa.

Tomorrow morning’s plenary will also examine the ICT’s advisory role to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and discuss how the Task Force can best assist in developing an ICT strategy for the UN system and help promote public-private partnerships for its implementation.

The Secretary-General launched the ICT Task Force to bring together a variety of actors – from community leaders to captains of industry – united by the goal of using ICT to reduce the gap between the information-haves and have-nots.