Information Technology Minister Anusha Rehman on Wednesday met with International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Secretary General Houlin Zhou during the ‘ITU Telecom World’ event in Budapest, Hungary.
In the meeting, the minister stressed that in order to attain success on the UN global agenda for Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) for sustainable development, strong guidelines with national goals and key performance indicators should be known to the member states with a yearly follow-up.
Talking in a panel session conducted by the World Economic Forum (WEF) during the ITU event, the minister said:
“While building knowledge economy through innovative use 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 named “Internet for All – Successful Practices on Access and Adoption to Connect the Unconnected” included other important policymakers and leaders from the global ICT industry.
Internet for all: Anusha Calls for Public Private Collaboration
While valuing the forum of the hard work being made in Pakistan towards this end, the minister highlighted that the government is giving importance to presence of everyone in ICT eco-system. She mentioned the focus of the Universal Service Fund (USF) on not only supporting access in underserved areas but also extending national fiber backbone to the underserved areas. To complete the value chain, USF is being used to support broadband demand through citizen centric e-services in the underserved areas, she said.
Minister Anusha Rehman also said that in order to accomplish the objective of Internet for all, corresponding efforts of governments, telecom operators, Internet service providers, infrastructure developers, content and application providers are important to make sure not only to access promotion but also for effective penetration and adoption of ICTs by the people.
Anusha Rehman also met with ICANN President and CEO Fadi Chedahe. In the meeting, she highlighted that due to the immense global coverage of the Internet and due to its influence on human lives across all regions, there is a need to expand the Internet governance structure to make it more inclusive.
Chedahe told 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 acknowledged him for the contribution and showed her support for the multi-stakeholder and inclusive approach to solution of all problems related to the Internet governance.
The minister was also in the jury to select the winners of the global entrepreneurship awards for start-ups and SMEs. In another major development, Pakistan endorsed the ITU’s Budapest call of action titled “Accelerating innovation for social impact: mobilising global entrepreneurship to implement the Connect 2020 Agenda” at the ministerial roundtable.
The ICT ministers from many other countries endorsed the call of action resolution, which is expected to have an important part in achievement of social impact objectives of the Connect 2020 agenda of the ITU.