The Value of Information and Communications Technologies in Meeting the UN Millennium Development Goals

Statement By Kathy Calvin, Ceo Of The United Nations Foundation, On The Release Of The Broadband Commission For Digital Development's New Report The Future Built On Broadband

New York, NY

September 20, 2010


Alexis Krieg

Welcoming the release of the Broadband Commission for Digital Development’s new report The Future Built on Broadband, Kathy Calvin, CEO of the UN Foundation, said:

“The United Nations Foundation welcomes the release of this report looking at the power of modern information and communications technologies to accelerate progress toward reaching the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).  We need innovative new solutions to tackle persistent global challenges.

“With over 5 billion mobile subscriptions globally, we are in the midst of a communications revolution that holds enormous potential to advance key development indicators, like maternal and child health.

“In many parts of the world, villages may not have running water or even electricity, but chances are at least one person has access to a mobile phone.  As the mobile broadband internet spreads through low and middle income communities, the potential development benefits will only continue to grow.

“Since 2005, the UN Foundation has engaged in a successful, 30-million-dollar partnership with The Vodafone Foundation to leverage the power of mobile communications to advance the work of the United Nations.  This has become an effective model for how private sector experts and public charities can work together to save lives and help achieve the MDGs.

“We are pleased to be building on this effort with new partners, including the Rockefeller Foundation, through the mHealth Alliance, which is convening partners from multiple sectors, and catalyzing collaboration and innovation in the use of modern information and communications technologies to improve health outcomes at the furthest reaches of wireless networks.

“Through the mHealth Alliance, we look forward to working with partners like WHO’s Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, and a growing group of public and private groups, on a new initiative to use mobile communications to transform the delivery of maternal and newborn care.”

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To learn more about the Millennium Development Goals, visit

About the United Nations Foundation 
The United Nations Foundation, a public charity was created in 1998 with entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner’s historic $1 billion gift to support UN causes and activities.  We build and implement public/private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and work to broaden support for the UN through advocacy and public outreach.  Through our campaigns and partnerships, we connect people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems.  The campaigns we conduct reduce child mortality, empower women and girls, create a new energy future, secure peace and human rights, and promote technology innovation to improve health outcomes.  These solutions are helping the UN advance the eight global targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).  For more information, visit

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