The sixth meeting of the Commission comes at a particularly important time in the UN calendar. Hosted at the start of the High-Level segment of the UN General-Assembly, the Broadband Commission will target policy makers in particular to boost the profile of broadband and ICT networks, services and applications for sustaining the three pillars of sustainable development; the economic, environmental and social.
As the UN system begins to prepare itself for 2015, and the due date for the internationally agreed Millennium Development Goals, talk and planning is already underway for a sustainable development agenda post-2015. In August 2012 UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced a full Panel of Eminent Persons to lead a strategy for the post 2015 development frameworks. The group will be chaired by UK Prime Minister David Cameron, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
The Broadband Commission will present its State of Broadband 2012 annual report to representatives of the Group of Eminent Persons, as well as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon; along with a clear and vital message. With less than one third of all the world’s people connected to the internet, it is critical that contingencies are made to bring the isolated online so that they too can participate in the information and knowledge society and 21st century digital economy. Without such plans one could never hope to close or even manage the gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’, as developed countries continue on a path forged by technology and innovation inconceivable to many in the developing world.
The Commission’s State of Broadband 2012 comes on the back of a successful year for the group. Lobbying has intensified at events including the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development and the meeting of the G20 states in Mexico in July. The Rio+20 outcome document ‘The Future We Want’ will form the initial basis for a post-2015 Sustainable Development roadmap, and despite being criticized as ‘weak’, still makes strong reference to broadband and ICT for development; a promising signal of things to come for the Broadband Commission for Digital Development
Do you agree that ‘Broadband Inclusion 4 All’ should be a central feature of any post-2015 international development strategies? Be sure to lend us your keyboards on Monday 24 September 2012 and send a Tweet for those who cannot do so themselves. Let the Commission know you agree with our mission and messages and tweet “This 24 September I’m lending my voice to the unconnected. B more with #Broadband. #SGSglobal”. We need your (moral) support to help connect the unconnected.