News

ITU High-Level Meeting Discusses Emerging Trends, Including Climate Change

ITU Council 2008 14 November 2008: The 63rd Session of the International

Telecommunication Union (ITU) Council opened with a High-Level Segment on

emerging trends in the information and communication technologies (ICT) sector,

including climate change and cybersecurity.

The event, which convened in

Geneva, Switzerland, from 12-13 November 2008, brought together some 400

participants, 21 ministers, ambassadors, and Heads of regulatory organizations

and UN agencies. It was addressed by the Presidents of Burkina Faso and Rwanda,

as well as by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon via video message.

Reiterating

that climate change is “the defining challenge of our era,” Ban welcomed the

ITU's initiatives to make itself climate neutral. He also highlighted ITU's

work in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and helping developing

countries adapt to the impact of climate change with emergency

telecommunications systems and other resources for disaster relief. Blaise

Compaoré, President of Burkina Faso, added that ICTs provide possibilities to

mitigate the effects of climate change by using energy efficient means. He

called for the transfer of technologies and the adoption of policies and

programmes aimed at helping developing countries, in particular those in

Africa, to reduce the digital divide.

The High-Level Segment concluded with a

declaration by ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré, who underscored the role

the ITU can play in helping reduce GHG emissions, highlighting the development

of technical standards that lower the power requirements of ICT equipment and

services, and new technologies that help reduce the carbon footprint of other

industries. [ITU

Press Release, 12 November 2008] [ITU Press

Release, 14 November 2008] [UN

Press Release] [Statements

Made at the High-Level Segment]