Courtesy of www.unwired4mdg.com
NEW YORK – A multi-agency United Nations initiative based on social media and mobile technology Solutions to help achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), launched today at the 10thAnnual Youth Assembly at the United Nations.
With more than 2 billion internet users and more than 5 million mobile subscribers across the planet, the ‘UNWired4 MDG Solutions Global Campaign’ looks to capitalize on the fact that communications has evolved, and has brought with it unprecedented access to information, services and platforms for innovation. Co-chair and lead planner of the initiative Tami Kesselman shed some light on the objectives at the launch.
“Though the Summit is co-convened by UN Office for Partnerships, ITU, UNDP, UN Women, UN Global Pulse and NGO/DPI, the heart of the results begins and ends with awareness and issue input from the villages and communities around the world that are most affected by development challenges – and have most to gain by coming up with cutting edge, efficient, innovative solutions that can solve challenges faster - better - cheaper than past approaches.”
Courtesy of www.unwired4mdg.com
The Global Campaign will culminate in the UNWired 4.0 Leaders’ Summit at the United Nations in New York, bringing high-level players in the social media and mobile technology circuit to participate in targeted work-groups. The intention of the Summit is to encourage organizations to commit to multi-stakeholder collaborations based on innovative and technology-based solutions towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
Dr. HamadounToure, the Secretary-General of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), one of the six co-convening agencies of the UNWired 4.0 initiative, has a vision of how mobile technology and other ICTs will shape the future of development.
“Although mobile penetration has spread rapidly with over 5.3 billion subscribers worldwide” said Dr. Toure in his 2011 video address on World Telecommunication and Information Society Day, “the thrust now is to drive content through enhanced broadband access aimed at establishing the information and communication highways — networks that will feed both rural communities and urban centres with the means to meet their development goals and aspirations.”
The use of mobile technology to help achieve the Millennium Development Goals has been accepted as a very efficient method to increase access to information, education, health services, financial services and political processes largely due to the rates at which populations in developing countries subscribe to mobile services.
In its report “Unfinished Business: Mobilizing New Efforts to Achieve the 2015 Millennium Development Goals”, the World Bank noted that mobile telephone penetration in developing countries has risen from virtually zero in 1990 to 58 percent in 2009. Furthermore, the average price of mobile calls and SMS messages have fallen consistently since the introduction of networks, making mobile telephony the communication medium of the masses.
The UNWired 4.0 Leaders’ Summit will take place at the United Nations in New York City from the 12thto 13thof June 2012.