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Un To Launch Global Information Alliance

Un Deputy Secretary-General To Launch Global Information Alliance

United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Mark Malloch Brown will next week launch the Global Alliance for Information and Communication Technologies and Development, a new initiative aimed at promoting the use of such technologies for development.

Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi will also take part in the launch, which will be held in Kuala Lumpur on Monday, a UN spokesman told reporters in New York today.

The Global Alliance is the initiative of Secretary-General Kofi Annan who approved its launch back in April as part of the follow-up to last year’s World Summit, which stressed that information and communication technology must be integrated into development activities if internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals, are to be achieved in time.

Earlier this week, the Alliance announced the members of its Steering Committee and Strategic Council for the first year, in view of the inaugural meeting from 19-20 June, and these include luminaries from a broad range of fields, including the business world, civil society, governments and the media.

While he is in Malaysia, Mr. Malloch Brown will also hold meetings with the Malaysian
Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister and meet the UN country team there, the UN spokesman said. He is expected back in New York by mid-week.

In a separate development related to Information and Communications Technology (ICT), the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) today opened the world body’s first ICT for Development Training Centre in the Asian and Pacific region, in the city of Incheon, Republic of Korea.

“Although the development and application of ICT in some countries of Asia and the Pacific is dynamic, a large number of developing countries lag behind in terms of access to and application of ICT,” said Kim Hak-Su, UN Under Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of UNESCAP.

In addition to today’s inauguration of the Centre, Microsoft also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with UNESCAP pledging its support for the facility that will be a regional resource for policy-makers, ICT professionals and trainers from developing nations across the region to learn from and share good practices in the area of ICT development, helping in the transition to the “knowledge economy,” the Agency said in a news release.

Ends

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