The session was moderated by Dr Suay Ozkula (Research Associate & University Teacher University of Sheffield).
Mr Yushi Torigoe (Deputy Director, Telecommunication Development Bureau, WSIS Action Line Facilitator ITU) stated that ICT plays a key role in addressing major challenges related to climate change and sustainable development. He shared the initiatives of ITU, such as supporting member states when disasters strike, through the deployment of emergency telecommunication equipment; the ITU-D development of e-waste guidelines to help countries identify the best policies; and a global platform for Smart City stakeholders to exchange knowledge, identify policies, and develop international standards. He highlighted that for all this co-operation is crucial.
Dr Naem Yousir (Minister, Ministry of Communication, Iraq) spoke about the DU3M initiative in Iraq and how the initiative is helping to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). He shared that the initiative, spanning ministries, seeks to strengthen the ICT sector in Iraq in order to build a digital society while implementing SDGs and to ensure economic growth in Iraq. He further added that infrastructure, research, and cybersecurity were only a few areas on which that Iraq is focused.
Mr Salim Al Ruzaiqi (CEO, Information Technology Authority, Oman) spoke on how Oman is utilising emerging technologies in achieving the SDGs. He cited as examples of the country-wide health system network connecting all hospitals and health units; the use of AI to detect breast cancer; the development of smart cities while ensuring safety and security of citizens. Cybersecurity and protecting digital identity while using new technology is a crucial goal for Oman.
Mr Edmunds Beļskis (Deputy State Secretary for Information and Communication Technologies, Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development, Latvia) spoke about the advancement made in Latvia for providing six hundred public service positions using ICT. He highlighted the government’s focus on customisation, proactivity, and customer engagement. He cited the the three principles of his government: user-driven service design and co-creation; citizen-centric delivery; and piloting, prototyping, and innovation. He spoke of the investments made in AI and the initiation of a virtual public assistance platform. Belskis highlighted the huge role of ICT in environmental protection, citing a few examples such as green procurement, the use of drone technology to protect forests, and monitoring.
Ms Modou Mamoune Ngom (Director of Telecommunications, Ministry of Telecommunications, Posts and Digital Economy, Senegal) elaborated on the Senegal Digital 2025 initiative that aims to connect each user to the Internet and the steps taken by the government to promote ICT applications and services specifically for development. She shared that the government seeks to transform the economy to achieve strong sustainable growth and for that purpose, it places great importance on an inclusive digital economy. She spoke of Senegal’s national broadband plan and strategy for cybersecurity to ensure a safe, secure, and resilient Internet for all.
By Amrita Choudhury