Bridging
the digital divide

News from the United Nations headquarters in New York

Since the end of 2011, Close the Gap has been able to count on its youth representative Christine Shim, who represents Close the Gap at the United Nations headquarters in New York. The role of a UN Youth Representative is to support Close the Gap in its further development with respect to projects and partners, specifically by working as a liaison between the organisation and the UN DPI network.

Christine has been a great help by attending UN events and activities in New York, promoting Close the Gap’s activities in different networks and identifying potential personalities that may be important for Close the Gap’s development. Furthermore, she has identified potential projects that could be supported in the South as well as potential partners willing to play a role within Close the Gap’s activities. Please find below an extensive interview with Christine Shim.

 

As a United Nations Youth Representative of Close the Gap, my objective is to support the Close the Gap team in its further development with respect to projects and partners, specifically by working as a liaison between the organisation and the United Nations Department of Public Information (UNDPI) network. Since our first virtual meeting from across the Atlantic, I have been attending numerous UN events and conferences, focusing on relevant topics discussed around poverty and ICT development. Moreover, I have been providing Close the Gap with up-to-date information in regards to UN activities while using available networks to promote our organisation. In addition, my role also includes identifying potential project implementations that could be supported in developing countries as well as potential partners who are interested in playing a role in Close the Gap activities. So far, I have crossed paths with many individuals from multiple professions and organisations that gear their work towards providing aid through ICT to the most poverty-stricken parts of the world. I’ve received positive responses and interest in Close the Gap thus far.

The information about Close the Gap I share privately or during presentations is disseminated to their colleagues and organisations, thereby enhancing Close the Gap’s visibility and reputation in the international community.

 

Most recently on 22-23 March 2012, I attended the annual Infopoverty World Conference at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. In general, the  event is devoted to the role the digital revolution can play in development strategies. Aligned with Close the Gap’s mission, the aim of the Infopoverty World Conference is to contribute to fighting poverty with innovative and appropriate use of ICT by providing a high-profile platform for in-depth discussions on the interlinks between ICT and development. Hence, the idea is to inspire new public-private partnerships in this field and encourage creative solutions addressing the Millennium Development Goals. As the world has become almost entirely connected, it is important to keep in mind that the benefits of the digital revolution are made available to the most vulnerable people around the world. In other words, the digital revolution offers the promise that countries of the South can re-engineer their systems by by-passing outmoded forms of technology and integrating the digital opportunities in their economic development, thus leading to better governance, new markets and job opportunities for the next generations.”

Christine Shim
Youth Representatives for Close the Gap at the United Nations in New York.