United Nations Expert Group Meeting on Building Inclusive Society and Development through Promoting ICT Accessibility [2012/04/23]
Welcoming remarks made at the United Nations Expert Group Meeting on Building Inclusive Society and Development through Promoting ICT Accessibility: Emerging Issues and Trends
Experts from around the world met at The Nippon Foundation from 19-21 April to attend the United Nations Expert Group Meeting entitled "Building an Inclusive Society and Development through Promoting Accessibility in Information and Communication Technologies: Emerging Issues and Trends". The meeting addressed critical issues concerning accessibility, particularly on the promotion of accessible information and communication technologies (ICTs) and disability-inclusive natural disaster response and emergency management. The meeting was a joint effort with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), The Nippon Foundation and the United Nations Information Centre in Tokyo.
In my opening remarks, I emphasized how ICT has played an important role in the activities that The Nippon Foundation has been conducting to improve the lives of people with disabilities both in developing and developed countries. I also noted that the recent earthquake and tsunami that hit northern Japan posed new challenges in aiming for an inclusive society that need to be addressed.
I am hoping that this meeting of experts from around the world will spur new action and initiatives toward realizing a society where everyone is given equal opportunity and able to exercise their own decisions.
An English transcript of my opening remarks is available at the Nippon Foundation website.