United Nations

Room DC1-1464, One UN Plaza, New York, N.Y. 10017
Telephone: (212) 963-5796 Fax: (212) 963-2812

Dear Mr Peters,

The United Nations Information and Communication Technologies Task Force (UN ICT TF), in partnership with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the United Nations Fund for International Partnership (UNFIP) cordially invites you to a Meeting on Bridging the Digital Divide for the Caribbean, at the United Nations, 24 January 2003, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

This meeting is organized with the support of the CARICOM Permanent Missions to the United Nations and the CARICOM Secretariat and facilitated by the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce. Prominent individuals from the Caribbean Diaspora as well as leaders from technology corporations, foundations and non-profit organizations, will join you as participants. The goals of the meeting are to establish a digital diaspora network that will tap the knowledge and experiences of the group and consider an innovative funding mechanism to facilitate investments in the region and make more creative use of ICT in the economic and social development of the countries of the Caribbean.

This meeting is most important in assisting to close the digital divide in the Caribbean considering that, on average, there are only 9 computers for every one hundred persons in the Caribbean, compared to 40 in Canada and 62 in the U.S.A. Furthermore while there are over 5,000 Internet users in the USA per 10,000 persons; there are only 567 in the Caribbean. The meeting also serves to implement a key objective of the Millennium Development Goals in “making available the benefits of new technologies, especially information and communications technologies”.

Please join me at the United Nations on January 24th to share your experiences and provide guidance in launching this important initiative. We appreciate your response with information on the attached note by 30 December to: unicttaskforcenews@un.org .The envisioned Digital Diaspora Network for the Caribbean, with your help, can become an effective force for positive and sustainable change.

Sarbuland Khan
Division for ECOSOC Support and Coordination
Department of Economic and Social Affairs