As part of the Global Connect Initiative, Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Catherine Novelli announced on December 16, 2015 that the United States will host a high-level multi-stakeholder conference to help bridge the digital divide at the Department of State in Washington, D.C. The conference, which will be held on the margins of the World Bank/IMF meetings in April 2016, will bring together key stakeholders from governments, international organizations, development institutions, the private sector, and civil society with the goal of sharing best practices for expanding internet connectivity and identifying areas for cooperation.
The Department of State continues to garner broad international support for its Global Connect Initiative, launched September 27 at an event on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly. The goal of the Initiative is to bring an additional 1.5 billion people online by 2020. This multi-stakeholder effort also seeks to promote the idea that internet connectivity is as fundamental to economic development as roads, ports, electricity and other traditional infrastructure.
Additionally, Global Connect supports the implementation of the recently adopted 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the recently completed ten-year review of the World Summit on the Information Society. The conference in April will focus on building this momentum by working with partners in the hemisphere and around the world to expand internet connectivity and bridge the digital divide.