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Minister of Communications Suvi Lindén invited to a high-level UN Broadband Commission

Minister of Communications Suvi Lindén invited to a high-level UN Broadband Commission

Press release 10.05.2010 14.41 fi sv en

The International Telecommunications Union, ITU, and the United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organisation, UNESCO, have set up a high-level Broadband Commission for Digital Development. Members to the Commission have been invited from among opinion leaders representing governments and commercial and industrial life.

Ms Suvi Lindén, Minister of Communications of Finland, was invited to join the new Broadband Commission by a letter from Dr Hamadoun I. Touré, ITU Secretary-General, and UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova.

The Broadband Commission will look for ways to create effective broadband connections for people in the developing countries.

The Broadband Commission will be chaired by Rwanda's President Paul Kagame and Mr Carlos Slim, chair of the board of directors of the telecommunications giant Grupo Carso. A list of Commission members was published on 10 May at the World Summit on the Information Society, WSIS Forum 2010, in Geneva, Switzerland.

The Commission will report on the results of its work at the UN General Assembly in New York in September. The theme of this year's annual meeting will be the Millennium Development Goals, MDGs, that were unanimously adopted by UN Member States at the turn of the millennium.

Minister Lindén sees the invitation to the Commission as recognition for Finland's communications policy.

"I am extremely pleased for the invitation to join in this important work. We cannot leave people in the developing countries outside the information society. Broadband connections will improve prosperity in society, market development and economic growth particularly in the developing countries. It is not about technology but people's basic right to information", she says.

Finland was the first country in the world to define Internet access as universal service that must be available to everyone.

"The core of our communications policy is to create competitive market conditions but also take firm measures to ensure everyone's right to reasonably priced communications services. That is why broadband was made a basic right in Finland. This view has also aroused enormous international interest", Minister Lindén says.

"Good intentions will not be enough. We need large-scale cooperation and practical measures. I welcome Finnish enterprises, organisations, associations and authorities to join in the work for promoting broadband in the developing countries", she stresses.

Further information:

Ms Anna Anttinen, Special Adviser to the Minister of Communications, tel. +358 160 28324
Mr Juhapekka Ristola, Director of Communications Networks Unit, tel. +358 9 160 28348, +358 400 788 530