UN event emphasizes digital technologies as key to achieving the SDGs

The event highlighted that more than 70% of the 169 SDG targets can benefit directly from digital solutions, offering potential breakthroughs in areas such as climate action, education, and poverty alleviation.

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During the SDG Digital event at the UN Headquarters in New York, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) highlighted that more than two-thirds of the United Nations’ sustainable development targets can directly benefit from digital technologies.

The SDG Digital Acceleration Agenda, a global analysis by ITU and UNDP, provided governments with a digital transformation roadmap and encouraged action and financing. It revealed that digital technologies already benefit about 70% of the 169 SDG targets, including climate action, education, hunger, and poverty.

The Agenda also pointed out that countries improving digital maturity progress better on SDGs. However, the event highlighted the need for substantial investment in digital public infrastructure, skills development, and job retraining, with a funding gap exceeding US$ 3.7 trillion for the SDGs.

Why does it matter?

Digital technologies represent a transformative opportunity to accelerate progress toward the SDG. However, significant challenges lie ahead. While ITU reported a decline in global Internet access gaps, achieving universal connectivity by 2030 remains challenging. UN assessments tell us that we’re not doing great so far – only half of the 169 SDG goals are progressing well, and 30% are going backwards. Therefore, despite our awareness of existing shortcomings and the accessibility of digital tools to assist, it remains essential to address obstacles and reevaluate strategies to ensure that the SDGs are met by 2030.