Ladies and Gentlemen;
A very good morning to all of you. Firstly, I would like to thank Mr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh for the kind invitation extended to me to address you this morning. Also, I would like to congratulate him and the Global Alliance for ICT and Development for their tireless efforts to ensure that innovative ideas are part and parcel of our efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
Today we come together to launch the MDG eNabler – an initiative that seeks to build a ‘one-stop shop’ for helping Governments and other development practitioners use ICT for the achievements of the MDGs. This High Level Breakfast is a culmination of months of consultations, collaboration and above all, consensus building. I am glad to see that the endeavor has borne fruit.
From the discussions and inputs during the preparatory meeting held earlier this month in New York, it was evident that the idea behind the project was both timely and much-needed. With over 140 participants representing 44 countries, the meeting was truly multi-stakeholder and received broad buy-in. At the conclusion of that meeting, several countries and regional groups have expressed interest in participating in the project or co-hosting the portal.
Undoubtedly, Mr. Abu Ghazeleh and his team will integrate the suggestions highlighted at that meeting to ensure that the final product is tailored to the needs of the very constituencies it is meant to serve. As UN-GAID can appreciate the eventual outcome should be simplified, with easy-to-use tools. This will boost confidence and capacity building.
Personally, I find the MDG eNabler has great potential in advancing progress towards the MDGs, especially in Africa and the Least Developed Countries. As many of you are aware, this region is lagging far behind on so many of the targets.
I would like to conclude these brief remarks by saying that this innovative initiative is long overdue, but its success relies on the extent to which the needs of the most vulnerable countries and those countries in special need are taken into consideration.
It is my sincere wish that today marks the occasion which launched a potent instrument in the fight against poverty.
I thank you.