Regional leaders join list of new UN Commissioners

H.E. Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al-Thani, chairman of Qtel

Leaders from Qtel, ictQATAR and Saudi Telecom are amongst eight newly appointed Commissioners to the UN Broadband Commission for Digital Development.

H.E. Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al-Thani, chairman of Qtel, Dr Hessa Al-Jaber, Secretary-General at ictQATAR, and Dr Saad Bin Dhafer Al Qahtani, Group CEO for strategic operations at Saudi Telecom, were chosen to bring fresh impetus to the UN Commission’s global campaign for “broadband for all.”

The new Commissioners join a select group of over 50 global leaders who are putting broadband at the centre of their organisational vision.

“The Broadband Commission is delighted to welcome these global leaders, who will use their talents and their considerable expertise to add fresh impetus to our mission to spread the word about the importance of broadband,” said Dr Hamadoun Touré, ITU Secretary-General and Co-vice chair of the Commission.

The other new Commissioners are Vanu Bose, CEO at Vanu, Innocenti Botti, president at Invitalia, H.E. Jasna Matić, State Secretary for Digital Agenda, Serbia, Dr Armen Orujyan, founder and chairman at Athgo Corporation, and Jean-Louis Schiltz, legal counsel at Schiltz & Schiltz.

Commission members comprise a high-powered international community, including prominent CEOs, top-level policy-makers and government representatives, heads of international agencies, and senior figures from academia and organisations with a development mandate.

The Commission was launched at ITU headquarters in Geneva in May 2010 in response to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon’s call to step up UN efforts to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

It is co-chaired by President Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Carlos Slim Helú, president of the Carlos Slim Foundation, with ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun Touré and UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, serving as joint vice chairs.

At its fourth meeting, held in Geneva last October, Commissioners agreed on a set of four “ambitious but achievable” targets that countries around the world should strive to meet in order to ensure their populations fully participate in tomorrow’s emerging knowledge societies.

They also launched a ‘Broadband Challenge’ that recognises communication as “a human need and a right,” and calls on governments and private industry to work together to develop the innovative policy frameworks, business models and financing arrangements needed to facilitate growth in access to broadband worldwide.

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