Minister of State Anusha Rehman today met with the Secretary General of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Mr. Houlin Zhou during the ITU Telecom World event in Budapest, Hungary. During the meeting the minister highlighted that in order to achieve success on the UN global agenda for ICTs for Sustainable Development, clear guidelines with national goals and Key Performance Indicators should be identified to the member states with a yearly follow-up.
Speaking in a panel session conducted by the World Economic Forum during the ITU event the minister said that “while building knowledge economy through innovative uses of ICTs is the key to solving many of our big social and economic challenges however connecting people and providing internet access to everyone still remains one of the fundamental target particularly in developing countries”.
The session titled “Internet for All – Successful Practices on Access and Adoption to Connect the Unconnected” featured other prominent policy makers and thought leaders from the global ICT industry.
While apprising the forum of the efforts being made in Pakistan towards this end she emphasized that Government of Pakistan gives paramount importance to inclusion of everyone in ICT Eco System. She also cited the focus of the Universal service Fund on not only promoting access in underserved areas but also extending national fiber backbone to the unserved regions.
To complete the value chain, USF is being used promote broadband demand through citizen centric e-services in the underserved areas. She further added that as equally important partners in achievement of the coveted objective of internet for all, coordinated efforts of governments, telecom operators, internet service providers, infrastructure developers, content and application providers are essential to ensure not only access promotion but also for effective penetration and adoption of ICTs by the people.
In another important engagement Ms. Anusha Rehman also met with the President and CEO of ICANN Mr. Fadi Chedahe. During the meeting she emphasized that due to the massive global coverage of the internet and due to its impact on human lives across all regions there is a need to diversify the internet governance structure to make it more inclusive.
Mr. Chedahe apprised her of the efforts being made by ICANN to contribute to activities in Pakistan aimed at making internet safe, secure and reliable for the people. The Minister thanked him for the contribution and reiterated her support for the multi-stakeholder and inclusive approach to solution of all issues related to internet governance.
The Minister was also part of the jury to select the winners of the global Entrepreneurship Awards for Startup and SMEs. In another important development Pakistan endorsed the ITU’s Budapest Call of Action titled “Accelerating innovation for social impact: mobilizing global entrepreneurship to implement the Connect 2020 Agenda” during the Ministerial Roundtable.
The ICT Ministers from several other countries also endorsed the call of action resolution which is expected to have a major role in achievement of social impact objectives of the Connect 2020 agenda of the ITU.