Industry leaders to promote Smart Sustainable Development

By : |October 18, 2013 0

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND: Industry leaders met today in an advisory capacity to promote ITU’s Smart Sustainable Development Model (SSDM) initiative. The meeting of the Advisory Board brings together leaders of the telecom sector to leverage the transformational power of ICTs to push forward innovation and change at all levels.

ITU secretary-general, Hamadoun I. Touré, noted that smart solutions are needed to meet global challenges such as climate change. “Leading edge information and communication technologies provide new opportunities to fast track sustainable development,” Touré said. “Smart technological solutions can help combat climate change while improving our capacity to respond to natural disasters and, at the same time, provide improved access to basic needs, such as health, education, and nutrition.”

Brahima Sanou, director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau, re-iterated the importance of harnessing the power of ICTs. “ITU acts as a facilitator and provides a platform for stakeholders to map strategies that will be transformed into action with the aim of providing socio-economic development and saving lives using modern ICTs.”

The Advisory Board is composed of eminent personalities with a range of interests and expertise in emergency telecommunications and sustainable development. They include policy makers, satellite operators, regulators and service providers.

Under the chairmanship of John M. Nasasira, Minister of Information and Communications Technology of Uganda, the Advisory Board will issue a call for action to urgently address the needs of those who are most vulnerable to natural disasters.

Members will identify the main objectives and strategies needed to create an operational sustainable development framework that will mobilize key resources and actors (national, local governments, civil society, business and academia) to incorporate innovative projects that make use of new and existing infrastructure to optimally prepare, mitigate, prevent and respond to unforeseen disasters.

“It is with both a pleasure and challenge that I chair the Smart Sustainable Development Advisory Board, an initiative of the International Telecommunication Union which links ICT for development and humanitarian work. Through this initiative we will explore ways of unmasking technology and show the human face behind it in terms of our efforts to deliver socio-economic development through effective disaster management,” Nasasira said.

The Advisory Board will meet again next year to review progress and address strategic issues.

The Smart Sustainable Development Model Initiative is an international, multi-stakeholder platform that seeks to link ICT for Development (ICT4D) with ICT for Disaster Management (ICT4DM) in order to achieve sustainable development through the optimal use of resources while minimizing additional financial investments. The aim is to utilize existing infrastructure and optimize it for disaster response in emergencies.

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