By Nasser Al Harthy
DOHA: The proposed eCenter to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (E-MDG Center) is intended to be a one-stop shop with a pool of informational plus decision support tools which could be useful for all actors (ICT and non-ICT) involved in development, in particular in developing countries.
This was stated here yesterday by Dr Talal Abu Ghazaleh, the Chairman of Global Alliance for ICT and Development (UN-GAID) which is supported by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs.
“Our goal is to provide ICT solutions to advance Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) quickly, universally and effectively,” Dr Abu Ghazaleh told a news conference yesterday.
Dr Abu-Ghazaleh was entrusted by the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon to develop a plan to accelerate the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) before 2015.
He proposed to establish an eCenter to achieve the Millennium Development Goals which was subsequently adopted and supported by the Secretary-General, who accepted the honorary presidency of UN-GAID and E-MDG Center.
Dr Abu-Ghazaleh, in his plan to launch the Center, said that a preliminary meeting is to be held at UN headquarters in New York to discuss the work and activities of the E-MDG Center and to launch the E-MDG Center in full at the World Summit by the Secretary General of the United Nations in September 2010.
The (UN-GAID) chaired since the beginning of 2010 by Dr Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, who succeeded former president, Craig Barrett, CEO and Chairman of Intel Corporation, the alliance is concerned about development and information technology.
UN-GAID members include representatives of governments, the private sector, civil society and international organisations.
Dr Abu-Ghazaleh said a meeting will be held in September this year where working groups representing each of the Millenium goals will be set up and each of them will be headed by one of UN’s organizations in specific area of specialization, such as IT in education goal which will be headed UNESCO and issues related to poverty, joblessness, economic situation will be headed by ONCTAD.
When fully operational (early 2011), the eCenter could also enhance transparency and provide a platform for exchange of knowledge/experiences among different players. It will also help governments in strategic integration of all policy matters related to the use of ICT in national development strategies.
The prototype of the MDG eCenter has been presented and demonstrated in the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) Forum on May 12-13 this year in Geneva and at a high-level seminar organised by the Secretariat-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council on June 14-15 in Riyadh.
The presentations yielded very positive feedback and strong support from all stakeholders.
When fully operational, the eCenter, currently in its early stages of development, will comprise such components as Matrix of ICT (Information and Communication Technologies), Solutions to Advance the MDGs that captures knowledge about existing ICT-based tools and solutions for specific development tasks, a Meta-Portal (“Portal of Portals”) for quick access to key resources, a Compendium of Excellence in ICT for MDGs, a Computer-Aided Strategic Planner for developing country- and problem-specific plans
Implementation Tools to support detailed planning, simulations and games that will help build relevant capacity, monitoring tools for project control and quality assurance. The Peninsula