Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

26 November​ - New York, USA​​

​​​​​​Side event at the 5th session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), ​26 November​ - New York, USA​

Broadband Infrastructure as a Catalyst for Sustainable ​Future​

The world has changed significantly since 2000, when the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were adopted. While strong economic growth in the developing world has helped lift millions out of poverty, now global population growth, modern lifestyles and consumption are stretching the limits of the planet’s resources. During this time, technological advances in information and communication technologies (ICTs) have radically transformed the way people communicate and lead their lives; now ICT can play a vital, transformational role in helping to put the world on a more sustainable path.

Recent crises in the financial, global food and energy sectors have highlighted fragility in global systems, as well as weaknesses in governance and persistent inequalities among vulnerable or disadvantaged populations. In addition, constraints to development have become apparent, such as climate change, increasing environmental degradation and population growth. Together with complex societal issues like rising inequality, ageing, infrastructure, gender equality, childhood development and education, as well as a lack of decent jobs for youth, these challenges point to an urgent need for an integrated, single sustainable post-2015 development agenda.

As well as continuing to drive progress against the MDGs to 2015 and beyond, the post-2015 sustainable development agenda needs to refocus efforts on reaching vulnerable or marginalized groups and tackling the interrelated root causes of poverty, inequality and environmental degradation. It must shift technology and behavior towards sustainable consumption and production patterns to decouple continued growth and improved living standards from the unsustainable use of resources. Business-as-usual is simply not an option. 

Innovative, scalable multi-stakeholder solutions are needed to deliver inclusive economic growth and a shift to sustainable patterns of consumption and production. The world needs to adopt a more integrated and comprehensive approach to development – and in this, ICT and broadband can make a major contribution. This report examines the role broadband and ICT can play as transformational solutions to achieving sustainable development for all.

The side event "Transformative solutions to leverage the broadband opportunity in the post 2015 development agenda" will present the opportunity that broadband and ICTs provide towards achieving a sustainable development agenda beyond 2015, looking at the role of infrastructure as a platform for progress and social development. The event will present the recommendations of the report "Transformational Solutions for 2015 and Beyond", launched by the Broadband Commission for Digital Development on September 2013. 

The Manifesto report 


Event Information
When: Tuesday, 26 November 2013; 1:15-2:30 PM

Where: Conference Room E, North Lawn Building (NLB). United Nations Secretariat. New York, USA


Gary Fowlie, Head of the International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) New York Liaison Office 


The Report of the Broadband Commission Task Force on Sustainable Development:

Transformative Solutions for 2015 and Beyond


Click here to download t​he English version


  • ​​​​​Tr​ansformative solutions. Recommendations on how to ​leverage the broadband opportunity for a sustainable future, Mr. Joe Constantine, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer towards Verizon. Ericsson.
  • Why broadband provides an opportunity for the Landlocked Least Developed Countries, Ms. Heidi Schroderus-Fox, Director, UN Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries (UN-OHRLLS).

  • Mobilizing collaboration towards sustainable development pathways, Ms. Joanna Rubinstein, Chief of Staff, Earth Institute and representative of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network.

  • The benefits of integrating infrastructure with development policies: Lessons learned from RwandaMs Jeanne d’Arc Byaj,​Minister Counsellor Deputy Permanent Representative (General Assembly Affairs). Permanent Mission of the Republic of Rwanda to the United N​ations​​

  • The impact of technology on disaster risk reduction and humanitarian aid. Mr. Marwan Jilani, Head of Delegation and Permanent Observer to the UN for the Delegation of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

  • ​The role of broadband and ICTs to promote digital inclusion and empower women. Ms Doreen Bogdan-Martin. Chief of ITU’s Strategic Planning and Membership Department, ITU

  • The event was moderated by Mr. Gary Fowlie, Head of the ITU Liaison Office in New York.