High-Level Forum on South-South Economic Cooperation for Sustainable Development: Investing in Broadband

New York, September 22, 2013

The High-Level Forum on South-South Economic Cooperation for Sustainable Development was organized by the South-South Steering Committee for Sustainable Development and held in New York on September 22. Participants, including government and United Nations officials, ambassadors and private sector members discussed how worldwide broadband investment could affect sustainable development.

Co-organizers included ITU, UNESCO, and the International Organization for South-South Cooperation (IOSSC); organizations whose expertise and knowledge will be critical in the implementation of projects developed through their cooperation and partnership.

H.E. Francis Lorenzo, Executive President of SS-SCSD, opened the meeting with a broadly spanning discussion on how increased broadband connectivity will provide governments and people worldwide the ability to employ the tools necessary to facilitate human development in a means and at a rate that was previously impossible.

H.E. John Ashe, President of the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly, remarked on broadband’s rapidly extending global reach. The benefits from such a technology are readily evident in almost half of the world’s households today.

Guests, including Frank Bainimarama, Prime Minister of Fiji, Hamadoun Toure, Secretary-General of ITU, and Oke Okaro, Global Head of Mobile and General Manager of Bloombrg LP, recognized the great potential created by SS-SCSD in unifying like-minded and greatly experienced members of the public and private sector for a greater cause, and the potential for rapid growth and expansion of initiatives through the expertise, technical knowledge, best practices and policies, and financial backings made available through the efforts of the South-South Steering Committee for Sustainable Development.

Strong supporters of South-South cooperation were present at the forum, including H.E. Alexandru Cujba, Vice-Chairperson of SS-SCSD, H.E. Carlos Enrique García González, Permanent Representative of El Salvador to the United Nations, H.E. Palitha T.B. Kahona, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations, H.E. Patricia Mwaba Kasese-Bota, Permanent Representative of Zambia to the United Nations, H.E. Henry Leonard Mac-Donald, Permanent Representative of Suriname to the United Nations, and Mr. Cai E’sheng, former Vice-Chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission. They were united in their belief that broadband technology is facilitating public-private partnerships, which is in turn revolutionizing a number of already prolific industries, and creating new markets and environments full of opportunity for job creation, investment, and sustainable growth.