About the event

Digital solutions catalyze innovative economic development, help create jobs, advance quality education, boost competitiveness, and can improve the lives of citizens everywhere and advance the green transformation.  However, the benefits of digital development are not yet available to all. UN universal connectivity targets, recently approved by the UN SG’s Envoy on Technology, complement the SDGs and set the goal to ensure, by 2030, universal access, connectivity, and use of the Internet, enhanced affordability of broadband Internet access, and digital literacy.  While Western European countries have already reached universal 4G coverage, Eastern European and Central Asian countries still have about 10% gap in 4G coverage and about 2% of the population is not covered by mobile networks at all (SDG target 9.c.1). The regional gap in fixed broadband subscriptions is widening (SDG target 17.6.2). The number of Internet-users is steadily growing, but there is still a 13% usage gap in the Western part of the region and 18% gap in the Eastern part of the region that needs to be bridged.

This peer-learning roundtable will review the achievements made on both SDG 9, and SDG 17. In particular, indicators related to internet connectivity, ICT infrastructure, and innovation. The roundtable will discuss the importance of resilient, accessible, and affordable connectivity as a prerequisite for successful digital transformation, thereby highlighting the need for robust digital infrastructure. It will also identify key (policy) recommendations to create the enabling governmental, economic, and technological environment for all to contribute and reap the benefits of a digitalized society and economy and reach the 2030 Agenda. With partnerships across sectors being at the core of successful digital transformation, this roundtable will put special emphasis on a systemic approach to digital development.

UN Digital Transformation Group for Europe and Central Asia, ITU, WMO