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 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 50x15 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.”