CONNECTING THE AMERICAS
We, the democratically elected Heads of State and Government of the Americas, meeting in Quebec City, recognize that a technological revolution is unfolding and that our region is entering a new economy, one defined by a vastly enhanced capacity to access knowledge and to improve flows of information. We are convinced that the promotion of a Connectivity Agenda for the Americas will facilitate the beneficial integration of the hemisphere into an increasingly knowledge-based society. We share the goal of providing all citizens of the Americas with the opportunity to develop the tools to access and share knowledge that will allow them to fully seize opportunities to strengthen democracy, create prosperity and realize their human potential. Connectivity will open new opportunities to our society in all areas, for which equal access and appropriate training are necessary.
Connectivity Agenda for the Americas
We are conscious of the disparities in cost and access to technology within and between our countries. Therefore, we agree that we must individually and collectively move toward expanding access to global knowledge and full integration into the knowledge society, particularly in developing countries, smaller economies, and among rural and disadvantaged groups. Our efforts at promoting connectivity will be directed toward our common commitment to sustainable economic growth and social development, particularly the overarching objective of poverty reduction. Recognizing that respect for cultural and linguistic diversity contributes to social and economic dynamism, we are also committed to using the tools of the new economy to enable all individuals to participate in inter-cultural dialogue for the promotion and protection of their cultures.
We are committed to promoting the development of the telecommunications infrastructure needed to support and enhance all sectors of society and the economy and will seek to provide affordable universal access. We agree to promote the modernization of the telecommunications sector, noting the leading role of the private sector in deploying infrastructure and services, and bearing in mind the legal framework of each country and the social, political, economic and cultural needs of our populations, particularly those of developing countries and remote regions. We will devote special attention to capacity-building in areas of human resource development, particularly health, education, the environment, and to strengthening the democratic process.
We recognize that our action and initiative are necessary to provide an appropriate enabling policy and regulatory environment to foster greater public and private investment in Connectivity. We agree to establish conditions, taking into account national legal frameworks, that promote and strengthen free and fair competition in all telecommunications services. We will support cooperation among our countries and joint initiatives with the private sector. We will coordinate our hemispheric initiatives with those at the global level to ensure that our region benefits from and contributes to our increasingly connected world.
We are also committed to mobilizing and sharing human resources to strengthen our capacities for applying information and communications technologies to human development. Recognizing the importance of providing all our citizens, and especially our children and youth, with the opportunity to participate in the knowledge society, we agree to use new technologies to address the needs of our national education and health systems. We agree to seek out innovative ways of facilitating access to and the use of computers and software in our learning environments.
We recognize the progress achieved by cooperative training programs and we are committed to broadening access to technical expertise through the continued use and expansion of national and regional information and communications technologies training programs, including internships, volunteer programs and training of educators. Coordinated training programs will provide additional impetus and support to a Connectivity agenda while creating valuable shared and collective work experience for all. This can be achieved by drawing upon the comparative strengths of our partners in academic institutes and the private sector.
Our governments will cooperate with each other and promote cooperation with subregional, regional and multilateral organizations, civil society, and the private sector to achieve the objectives of this statement and to encourage horizontal cooperation and share best practices to take full advantage of the benefits of the new economy.
Our governments will strive to encourage the growth of e-commerce and to promote Connectivity by providing government services and information on-line, to the extent possible.
To meet the new challenges of the transition towards the knowledge-based
society, we have proposed measures in our Action Plan to enable all those in our
societies to use information and communications technologies to build networks,
share ideas, and establish more effective partnerships with government and the
private sector that will enable them to participate more fully in the political,
social and economic development of their respective societies.