PM calls for bridging the digital divide summit
GENEVA, Dec 10: Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Jamali on Wednesday called for bridging the digital divide so that technology benefited the rich and the poor alike.
Addressing the World Summit on Information Society on Wednesday, Mr Jamali said: “The enormity of the digital opportunity is marred by a vast digital divide.” “To bridge this divide is the challenge of our time. It must not be allowed to grow further.”
He called for a global accord and partnership so that the fruits of technology were evenly distributed. The prime minister said his government was engaged in harnessing digital technology for the economic advancement of Pakistan.
He said a significant part of the country’s limited resources had been earmarked to build the necessary infrastructure. This, he added, would promote computer literacy and widen ICT applications in health, education and public sector management. Pakistan, Mr Jamali pointed out, needed international community’s support to achieve these goals.
He termed the digital divide a multi-dimensional phenomenon that separated people within and between countries. “The speed of global technological and economic transformation demands a concerted global action.”
He emphasized the need for creating an information society which embraced everyone. “Poorer regions of our planet are threatened with structural irrelevance associated with their technological obsolescence.”
He urged the world leaders present there to work together to evolve a ‘Digital Development Agenda’. “The presence of so many world leaders should provide the political impetus to translate hope into action.”
The prime minister gave a set of proposals aimed at providing equal opportunity to everyone everywhere. According to the package, the summit should develop tools and mechanisms that will open the doors of technology to the poorer segments of mankind.
There should be a commitment to assist the developing countries in developing their ICT infrastructure Universal norms, particularly the moral and spiritual values, should be protected. Security of information systems free from threat of infiltration should be ensured. All peoples should be allowed to imbibe the knowledge which the ICT promises, he said.