In its capacity of United Nations specialized agency for Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), the International Telecommunication Union has a broad mandate to Connect the unconnected, create an enabling environment for ICTs and promote digital transformation through innovation. Through the regular work of its three sectors, and by facilitating partnerships development, ITU is a unique witness of the power and cross cutting nature of ICTs for sustainable development. This has been even more evident since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
An enormous range of social and economic activities have shifted from face-to face to online in a remarkably short period of time. Unfortunately, this huge shift has only been possible for those who are connected. According to the ITU, still 3.7 billion people remain unconnected to the Internet and more than two thirds of the world’s school-age children have no internet access at home. This highlights the urgent need to address the global digital divide, and provide accessible and affordable connectivity to all on social, economic and egalitarian grounds.
This Session is aimed at raising awareness of the sustainable development community about the concrete role ICTs play for a robust recovery from the global pandemic and how increased cross-sectoral partnerships are needed to ensure a meaningful digital transformation that works for all. The Session will bring together ITU Members from various regions to showcase and discuss success stories and strategic partnerships such as Giga, Connect to Recover (C2R), Financial Inclusion Global Initiative (FIGI), Policy and Regulation Initiative for Digital Africa (PRIDA), GovStack, and EQUALS. The session will also feature a youth representative of the Generation Connect Visionaries Board.
More information can be found on the ITU website