Around 330 representatives of cities, major ICT companies, academic institutions, professional and international organizations from 50 countries attended a Global Forum on City Informatization to discuss innovative application of the latest computer technology for city management.
Chaired by the Executive Director of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), Mr. Carlos Lopes, the Forum was attended by China’s Minister of Science and Technology, Mr. Gang Wan, the Vice Minister of Industry and Information Technology, Mr. Xueshan Yang , Executive Vice Mayor of Shanghai, Mr. Zukang Yang and Mr. Houlin Zhao, Deputy Secretary-General of the International Telecommunications Union. Other international organizations include the UN Department for Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), UN-HABITAT and the UN Economic Commission for Africa.
The use of ICT in China has increased at a tremendous pace. Internet connectivity penetration now stands at 430 million people or 31.8%. ICT is a driving force for development in all areas from financial services, manufacturing, tourism and commerce to building sustainable cities.
Topics discussed at the Forum held on the sidelines of the Shanghai 2010 Expo ranged from cloud computing, telecommunications, Web2.0 technology to e-governance, e-commerce, knowledge management, and the use of ICT for disaster mitigation, poverty reduction, health, tourism, agriculture, exploration and security, among others.
UN-HABITAT presented its new global online urban portal to be launched on World Habitat Day, 4 October. The theme of this year’s World Habitat Day, Better City, Better Life, echoes that of the Shanghai World Expo. UN-HABITAT invited delegates to visit the UN Pavilion at the Expo where the agency is organizing a week-long programme of events including exhibitions, films, concerts and meetings the United Nations Pavilion.
The Forum agreed to establish a secretariat to coordinate, organize and service the Global City Informatization Forum so that it becomes a regular international forum for exchanging knowledge on the use of ICT for smart cities.