From the very beginning of this Administration, President Obama has elevated sustainable development to a core pillar of American foreign policy. In a world that is growing increasingly interconnected, we recognize that development is not charity -- it is a prudent investment in the security and prosperity of us all.
In the developed world, we take the universal availability of the Internet largely for granted. That connectivity in turn creates tremendous opportunities and benefits for individuals and businesses alike. What we often forget is that less than half of the world's population has access to the Internet.
The Internet holds the potential to become the most equal-opportunity platform for economic empowerment the world has ever known. Yet the only way to realize this goal is for the entire planet -- yes, every one of the world's nearly seven-and-a-half billion inhabitants -- to gain affordable Internet access.