- Nobel Laureate, Professor Muhammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank and leading advocate of ICT combined with micro-credit financing to empower the poor;
- HRH Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, Princess of Thailand, whose efforts help people with disabilities gain independence and skills using ICT;
- HRH Sheikha Al Mayassa Bint Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Qatar, Chairperson of “Reach Out to Asia”, a non-profit initiative to expand access to education using ICTs;
- Professor M S Swaminathan, founder and Chairperson of “Mission 2007”, a widely recognized movement in India to make every village a “knowledge centre” using ICTs; and
- Mr Roberto Irineu Marinho, President of Globo and its Foundation. Globo is a major Brazilian broadcast company and internet provider responsible for UN-recognized projects in broadcasting educational content to underserved communities.
The main role of Honorary Patrons is to strengthen awareness and support for Connect the World among the general public as well as political leaders outside the ICT and telecommunications sectors. This group will consist of prominent persons from all walks of life. The level of involvement of each Honorary Patron is flexible, and will vary according to their needs and over time. Examples include participation in special events and media and other promotional activities and supporting fundraising efforts.
“To become a broader movement to connect the unconnected by 2015, we need to reach out not only to our traditional stakeholders but also to others, including the general public,” said ITU Secretary-General, Mr Yoshio Utsumi. “The Honorary Patrons of Connect the World will play an essential role in this effort and we are grateful for the participation.”
About Connect the World
Launched within the context of the World Summit on the Information Society in June 2005, Connect the World is a multi-stakeholder initiative that aims to help expand access to information and communication technologies (ICTs) to the estimated 800 000 villages and one billion people worldwide for whom making a simple telephone call remains out of reach. By showcasing current development efforts, tracking progress and identifying both pressing needs as well as opportunities for collaboration, Connect the World will help generate the momentum required to “connect the unconnected by 2015.”