ITU Blog: Ensuring Positive Impacts of Connecting Sustainably
By Houlin Zhao, ITU’s Secretary-General Elect
Though there are only 3 billion people connected online, Information and Communication Technology (ICT)-enabled applications have seen unprecedented growth over the past two decades. The Connect 2020 framework aims to expand the number of users by a further 1.5 billion by the year 2020, which, though ensuring that more people and communities benefit from inclusion in the digital economy, provides a challenge for all of us to ensure this growth happens in a sustainable manner.
To promote the beneficial use of ICTs, we recognize at ITU the need to manage challenges that emerge from rapid growth; we focus on enhancing their sustainable and safe use, working closely with other organizations. We will work towards minimizing the potential negative impact of growth in ICTs. We must strengthen cybersecurity, preventing potential harm to the most vulnerable parts of society, in particular children, and mitigating the negative effects on the environment, including e-waste.