UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
SDGUN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Global leaders must urgently accelerate progress toward universal and affordable access to information and communication technologies (ICTs) if the world is to meet the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

This was the view of the UN Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development, which met this week in Davos, Switzerland, during a special session co-organized with the World Economic Forum.

The high-level meeting attended by government ministers, UN leaders and industry executives called on governments around the world to prioritize broadband connectivity in countries and regions under their influence.

“We need fresh investment models to unlock the power of ICT connectivity that fuels growth in today’s digital economy,” said Houlin Zhao, secretary-general of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

“Without more innovative public-private partnerships and leadership, we will miss our opportunity to fast-forward progress on the SDGs. We will miss the chance to improve lives for everyone, no matter who they are or where they live.”

The leaders in attendance identified and addressed several key areas including: new financing models for broadband infrastructure, new last-mile business models, new country partnership models; and new approaches to ending the gender digital divide.

They also discussed the critical role of responsive leadership to drive progress in each of these key areas — and how they could work together to lead the charge to connect the world’s next billion people.

“Broadband access is about leadership,” said Irina Bokova, UNESCO director-general and Broadband Commission co-vice chair. “Investing in new technologies to bridge educational and digital divides is imperative for reaching the SDGs.”

There are still some 3.9 billion people, more than half the world’s population, who have never been online and are therefore excluded from all the knowledge and opportunities that are so readily accessible to nearly half the world. Moreover, the offline population is disproportionately female, rural, and poor. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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