UNGIS at the United Nations High Level Political Forum (HLPF) 2019
Side Event: “Fostering digital transformation and global partnerships for SDG achievement”
[Aligning WSIS process with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development]
11 July 2019, 13:15 – 15:15
United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation
304 East 45th Street, 11th Floor, FF-1140, New York
A side event hosted by Saudi Arabia and with the engagement of United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation, UN Group on the Information Society (UNGIS) and the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Stakeholders
ICTs are now integral to how people in many parts of the world live and work and are transforming societies and economies. Their potential to address complex and interconnected development challenges is also now widely recognized.
However, more needs to be done to fully leverage the potential of ICTs, and new and emerging technologies in general, to advance sustainable development through the digital transformation of societies and economies. This is particularly pressing as the digital revolution moves forward at an uneven pace around the world, increasing the digital divide. One of the main challenges of this digital and knowledge divide is the growing disparities in both the hard components (such as ICT infrastructure) and the soft components (such as policy, content and capacity development, including digital access and digital literacy) at the same time. As more advanced economies develop and deploy frontier technologies (such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, or the Internet of Things), many Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) do not have the necessary investment in capacities and access, including content in local languages on the Internet, infrastructure and use, especially in rural areas. This is a challenge that needs to be addressed to achieve the inclusive, more equal world envisioned in the 2030 Agenda, and requires increased cooperation called for by the UN Secretary General.
In this context, and in response to the UNSG’s call as well as to the imperative framed by SDG 17, cooperation must be further reinforced to ensure that technological progress is even across all regions and benefits all. This side event will highlight good practices at the national, regional, and international level in the field of digital transformation and global partnerships to achieve the SDGs. The side event will also reflect on the WSIS-SDG matrix, which underlines the role that ICTs can play in achieving Agenda 2030.