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Belarus to host ITU Connect CIS Summit in November 2009

09 июня 2009

ITU announced today that it will hold the Connect CIS Summit from 26 to 27 November 2009 in Minsk, Belarus.

ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré made the announcement today along with Mr Sami Al Basheer Al Morshid, Director of the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau. The Summit, which will attract leaders from CIS and neighbouring states, governments, industry and financial institutions will be hosted by the President of Belarus Mr Alexander Lukashenko.

"The Republic of Belarus has decided to host the ITU Connect CIS Summit in recognition that sharing and creation of new knowledge contributes significantly towards strengthening economic and social development both at the national and regional levels," President Lukashenko noted. "Belarus is striving to strengthen and maintain its leading role in ICT development in the CIS region."

The Connect CIS Summit will offer a venue for leaders from the public and private sectors as well as international and regional financing and development agencies to network face-to-face and forge new partnerships. The Summit programme will feature high-level panels, round tables and networking sessions as well as announcements of new partnerships. The Summit will be televised and made available via webcast.

A Ministerial Meeting in preparation of the Summit will be held on 25 November 2009.

The Connect CIS Summit will be organized in partnership with the Regional Commonwealth in the Field of Communications, the Commonwealth of Independent States Executive Committee, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, the United Nations Global Alliance for ICT and Development, the World Bank, and the European Investment Bank among others.

In highlighting the collaborative approach of the Connect CIS Summit, Dr Touré said, "In this period of global economic turbulence, it is all the more important that all partners work together to leverage the power of ICTs for social and economic development."

The Connect CIS Summit is the second in a series of regional events designed to stimulate public-private partnerships and investment needed to "connect the unconnected" by 2015. It builds on the successful Connect Africa Summit held in Kigali, Rwanda in October 2007.

The overall objective of the Connect CIS Summit is to mobilize the human, financial and technical resources to support a rapid, region-wide transition to digital infrastructure and services, widely recognized as the engine of future economic growth and social and economic development. Priorities include rolling out broadband Internet, expanding rural connectivity, creating a policy and regulatory environment to support investment and new business models, enhancing ICT training and human capacities and stimulating locally relevant applications and services.

Mr Sami Al Basheer Al Morshid, Director of the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau added, "While the CIS region enjoys significant mobile coverage, we are convinced that more can be done by partners to expand ICT access and use, with an emphasis on developing affordable broadband Internet infrastructure and services to support the ever-growing demand for business and government applications".

The Connect CIS Summit will be held in conjunction with the CIS Regional Preparatory Meeting (23-24 November 2009) for the 2010 World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC), which gathers Member States and partners every four years to lay out plans for the forthcoming period.


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