UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called on youth attending a United Nations-backed summit to harness the power of the digital revolution to tackle global challenges. He sressed the growing role of information and communication technology (ICT) in the quest for development.

*“The digital revolution has increased young people’s capacity to bring about positive social change,”* Mr. Ban said in a message to the **Global Forum on Youth and ICT for Development**, which began in Geneva today.

The three-day gathering, co-hosted by the Global Alliance for ICT and Development (GAID) and the UN International Telecommunications Union (ITU), brings together what Mr. Ban called “two of the most powerful agents of change in our world today” – youth and ICT. He noted that * “as information flows seamlessly around the planet, young people can more effectively act as catalysts for change – locally and globally.”*

He further pointed out that youth can come up with innovative ideas to help confront today’s global challenges, particularly as the world presses ahead to achieve the set of anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. * “Young people’s energy and idealism can help make up for lost ground, and achieve our development goals in full and on time.”*

Emphasizing that young men and women everywhere are valuable and committed partners in the global efforts to achieve the MDGs, Mr. Ban encouraged those gathered to use the Forum not only to exchange views and experiences, but to help create a new dynamic for development. He said, *“Together, let us harness the power of information and communications technology to advance our shared objective of building a better world for all.”*