Reflecting the December 2013 commitment of Presidents Obama and Santos to expand bilateral cooperation on information and communications technology (ICT), the governments of the United States and Colombia today begin a senior-level steering group to advance that goal. The ICT steering group (ICTSG) is intended to explore and define future areas of cooperation, and develop a plan to involve the private sector in this effort. By partnering with the private sector, ICTSG’s goal is to ensure ICT is used to promote economic development, reduce inequality, and enrich the lives of citizens in both countries. Our joint focus is on promoting the development and deployment of ICT applications and programs that can make a measurable difference in the lives of lower income people and those living in remote and underserved areas.
The ICTSG is intended to support important efforts by both countries with regard to cyber or ICT, particularly President Santos’ initiative to promote the massive use of the Internet to advance prosperity in Colombia, the “Plan Vive Digital,” as well as other existing cooperation through bilateral or multilateral fora. We take note of opportunities, including:
Participation in the ICTSG is to be determined by each government. We expect participants and their staff to hold meetings and prepare work plans as needed, and report on progress through the U.S.-Colombia High-Level Partnership Dialogue and other fora.