U.S. State Department Launches Global Connect Initiatives at UNGA
Today, the U.S. Department of State unveiled a new initiative called “Global Connect,” which seeks to bring 1.5 billion people who lack Internet access, online by 2020. On behalf of the Secretary of State, Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Catherine Novelli delivered a key-note address at UN Headquarters on “Development in the Digital Age” to announce this new diplomatic initiative.
This high-level panel was hosted by the President of Estonia and she was joined by Dr. Jim Kim of the World Bank, and other senior officials for a discussion on the role of the Internet as a key driver for economic growth.
In her remarks, the Under Secretary highlighted how, through Global Connect, major U.S. development agencies will begin to make Internet access a top priority in their work around the world. To accomplish this, we will lead by example. Major U.S. development agencies will begin to make Internet access a top priority in their work around the world. We will also urge international development banks to recognize the Internet as an essential element of every country’s infrastructure – as the World Bank has already done. We will also partner with other governments from highly connected countries and enlist their expertise. We will work with private industry which has created innovative solutions to connect people in remote areas. In short, we will pursue an “all of the above” approach.
Early next year, we will bring together governments and stakeholders to further advance our “Global Connect” initiative and help bridge the digital divide. We hope to develop country-specific strategies that can create enabling environments that spur connectivity and also entrepreneurship, cross-border information flows and open and competitive marketplaces.