lulabPresident Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva of Brazil, along with Rob Conway, CEO of GSMA, and Deborah Taylor Tate, former Commissioner of the US Federal Communications Commission were honoured with the 2009 ITU World Telecommunication and Information Society Award at a ceremony held in Geneva today (May 18).

According to ITU, President Lula’s government has promoted digital inclusion programmes such as “PC for all” that aims to provide low-cost computers to Brazil’s low-income population. Focusing on school-age children, President Lula has demonstrated deep concern about the safety of children in cyberspace.

Last year, he sanctioned a new Brazilian Law against sexual exploitation of children on the Internet, and since 2003, the “call 100” service has been gathering information on child pornography on the Internet.

Among other winners, as CEO of GSMA, Rob Conway spearheaded efforts to protect children using mobile phones. And Deborah Taylor Tate, who was appointed US FCC Commissioner in 2005, is stated to be a leading voice on issues affecting families and children.

H.M. Queen Silvia of Sweden was the patron on the occasion of the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day.

Announcing the awards, ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré welcomed the eminent personalities who have devoted themselves to bringing the benefits of Internet connectivity to every corner of the planet while protecting the interests of users, especially children who are among the most prolific users – and also the most vulnerable, according to an ITU statement.

World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) marks the anniversary of the establishment of ITU in 1865. The theme for 2009 is Protecting Children in Cyberspace.

ITU is a United Nations agency to handle information and communication technology issues.

Photo courtesy: ITU

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About Rakesh Raman

Have extensive editorial, content management, and integrated communications experience and have worked as a senior tech journalist, analyst, and columnist with different newspapers, magazines, and Web/online properties in India.

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