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Sweden : Ericsson & Earth Institute: Information Technology key to achieving new UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Today, in advance of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, where the UN Sustainable Development Goals are expected to be passed, Ericsson and the Earth Institute at Columbia University, led by Professor Jeffrey Sachs, present key findings from new research "ICT and the Sustainable Development Goals."

The research highlights how Information and Communications Technology (ICT), and in particular mobile technology, can help accelerate the achievement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

The Sustainable Development Goals call for several breakthroughs by the year 2030, including an end to extreme poverty and hunger, while improving access to health care and education, protecting the environment and building peaceful and inclusive societies. The joint research highlights how ICT is fundamental to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, and can even help to accelerate their achievement.

Hans Vestberg, President and CEO of Ericsson, says: "We are making the findings of this research known because we believe that we are at an important crossroads. We will not be able to achieve these new goals without ICT, and without public-private partnerships between ICT companies, governments and academia. As world leaders gather, we want to build on this momentum and ensure everyone is aware of the opportunity before us.

"We believe the new goals need to leverage existing and widely deployed technologies, but also that future developments in ICT - including next-generation mobile broadband, the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence, 3D printing and others - will provide the tools for unprecedented advances in health care, education, energy services, agriculture, and environmental monitoring and protection."

One key point of the report is that governments need to ensure that the entire public sector, including service delivery in health care, education and infrastructure, is fully supported by high-quality ICT systems. This includes:

Broadband connectivity of all public facilities by 2020, ICT training of all relevant public officials and service providers, ICT-based delivery systems for health care, education and infrastructure, Deployment of the IoT (remote sensing and control of connected devices) for public infrastructure and environmental management, Encouragement of universities to scale up education and incubation relating to ICT solutions, including through partnerships with the private sector, Deployment of an ICT-based Sustainable Development Goal information system that connects public services and facilities, the private sector and the public

Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Director of The Earth Institute, Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development, and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University, says: "The report also contains six recommendations for the private sector on how to be successful, but also stresses the importance of private-public partnerships.

"ICT is key here, as it will offer the possibility of much faster technology upgrading, training and service provision at a low cost - but only if systems are quickly designed and deployed. With the 2030 targets looming, there will be no opportunity for a slow, gradual or cautious uptake of new approaches."

One example that shows how ICT can help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals is seen in the fight to end extreme poverty. Vestberg says: "We have seen that a 10 percent increase in broadband penetration leads on average to one percent sustainable GDP growth. However, in some countries, the increase is even higher: up to 5 or 10 percent. That can make a real difference to people's lives."

Sachs says: "2015 is the year to really put sustainable development at the center of global goals. Ericsson is the world leader in the ICT revolution, and recognizes the responsibility that comes with providing technologies that can serve the whole world."

By 2020, 90 percent of the world's population will have access to mobile broadband networks. This scale brings unprecedented opportunity to address global sustainable development challenges. In the Networked Society where everything that can benefit from being connected is connected, Ericsson is the leading advocate of Technology for Good.

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Publication:Mena Report
Date:Sep 25, 2015
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