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CEA Says Everyone Should Have Access To Technology

CEA’s Shapiro Tells United Nations Conference Industry and Governments Must Work Together to Advance Economic Growth in Developing Markets

Technology plays a vital role in improving lives and advancing freedom and economic development, and access to technology should be considered a basic human right, Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) President and CEO Gary Shapiro said in a speech Tuesday before the United Nations Global Alliance for ICT and Development at the United Nations headquarters in New York, NY. Shapiro discussed technology’s role in advancing developing markets and the cooperation needed between governments and technology companies to increase economic growth.

“New technologies are changing lives. They create new opportunities for entrepreneurs and small businesses, increasing education and providing the tools necessary to innovate,” said Shapiro. “Every person across the globe should have access to these tools. Technology should not be a privilege.”

Shapiro cautioned that the technology products that fuel development are often kept out of the countries whose citizens need them most. Shapiro noted, “All nations of the world need to embrace open and transparent trade policies as a means to ensure no one is left behind in our global digital economy. Economic growth in developing regions will simply not advance without free trade.”

Shapiro stressed that sustainable development in emerging economies cannot succeed without cooperation and an open dialogue between local governments and the technology industry. Citing initiatives including the One Laptop Per Child Project, AMD’s 50×15 and numerous UN programs, Shapiro said, “these initiatives are bringing computers and Internet access into the hands of children and citizens in developing regions. They expand minds, create opportunities, fuel education and spur innovation.”

Commending the UN Global Alliance for ICT and Development for examining technology’s impact on development at a critical time in history, Shapiro noted, “the United Nations is addressing these issues from a multidisciplinary perspective. We are approaching from an industry perspective. By working together, we can all win.”

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“Every person should have access to technology,” said Shapiro. “We have a responsibility to make that goal a reality.”

In addition, Shapiro, two ICT company executives and other officials met with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. In the 45 minute meeting, the participants exchanged ideas on how consumer technology can be more quickly deployed in the developing world.

A complete transcript (pdf) of Shapiro’s remarks is available online.

About CEA:
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is the preeminent trade association promoting growth in the $161 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry. More than 2,200 companies enjoy the benefits of CEA membership, including legislative advocacy, market research, technical training and education, industry promotion and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CEA also sponsors and manages the International CES – Where Entertainment, Technology and Business Converge. All profits from CES are reinvested into CEA’s industry services. Find CEA online at: www.ce,org

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