H.E.Irina Bokova , UNESCO



I wish to congratulate every participant in the World Summit Award this year. I am deeply grateful for your commitment to making the most of new technologies for the benefit of all societies. In the past 25 years, new technologies have transformed the way we communicate, create, collaborate, and grow together. Promoting inclusive and accessible global broadband connectivity for sustainable development is the goal guiding the Broadband Commission for Digital Development that UNESCO co-chairs. Much of the information revolution is happening through mobile phone devices, with active mobile subscriptions soon to exceed 2.3 billion -- and most progress is taking place in the developing world. In this year when States will define a new global sustainable development agenda, we must do everything to nurture and harness the power of new technologies for positive and inclusive change, to bridge digital divides, especially for women, to support local content, to advance mobile learning, and to bolster the active engagement of young women and men. These objectives guide all of UNESCO’s work – for instance, through the YouthMobile Initiative – and they are the inspiration for the World Summit Awards. Together, we are working to empower women and men to build inclusive knowledge societies.