World Telecommunication and Information Society Awards will be presented to
Malaysia PM Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak, China Mobile CEO Wang Jianzhou and Internet pioneer Robert Kahn
What: World Telecommunication and Information Society Day ceremony
World Telecommunication and Information Society Awards presentation
When: Ceremony: 17 May 2010 at 14:30 Shanghai time (0630 UTC). Audio webcast will be available at www.itu.int/wtisd/
Press conference: 17 May 2010 at 17:15 (0915 UTC)
Where: Expo Center, World Expo 2010, Shanghai, China
Why: 17 May 2010 marks the 145th anniversary of ITU’s establishment in 1865. World Telecommunication and Information Society Day raises awareness of the full potential of the Internet and other information and communication technologies (ICT) for the benefit of people everywhere, as well as of ways to bridge the digital divide.
The theme is "Better City, Better Life with ICT" in keeping with the overarching theme of World Expo 2010, Shanghai.
Who: Awards will be presented by ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré to three eminent laureates:
• Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia
• Mr Wang Jianzhou, Chairman and CEO of China Mobile
• Mr Robert Kahn, President and CEO of the Corporation for National Research Initiatives and pioneering developer of the Internet
The theme of this year’s World Telecommunication and Information Society Day aims to ensure that ICTs will contribute to a better future for the growing populations of urban centres.
ICTs provide solutions to many of the problems facing cities even as they become magnets for migrating populations as well as contribute to making them more eco-friendly and economically viable. For many city dwellers, it is nearly impossible to imagine life without ICTs. From television to mobile phones and the Internet, ICTs have reshaped the world, helping billions of people to live, work and play. ICTs present innovative ways of managing our cities — smart buildings, intelligent traffic management, new efficiencies in energy consumption and waste management, and not least exchanging information and knowledge and communicating on the move in an increasingly converged information society.
While the world’s cities are undoubtedly endowed with many advantages, the disparities between the haves and the have nots among urban populations is often a vivid reminder that the vast majority is left out of the reach of development. It is ironic that even in densely populated urban centres countless millions are deprived of access to the means of communication and information that are taken for granted by others. Along with this growing digital divide, safe drinking water, sanitation, food, shelter, health care and education are basic needs that are addressed by the Millennium Development Goals, which calls for the significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers by 2020.
By tapping into the huge potential of ICTs to improve the lives of people and by providing affordable and equitable access to information and knowledge to empower everyone to achieve their aspirations, administrations can contribute towards meeting the rising expectations of an ever-growing population in the world’s cities. Acting as catalysts for a more productive and better life, ICTs open the door to myriad solutions that help achieve harmony among the spatial, social and environmental aspects of cities and among their inhabitants.