17 May 2023
On this World Telecommunication and Information Society Day, we highlight the power of technology to advance sustainable development in Least Developed Countries.
The digital revolution is a defining force of our era.
The opportunities are tremendous: from transforming education and health care, to accelerating climate action and the achievement of all the Sustainable Development Goals.
But to realize the promise of technology, we must confront its perils:
The lack of ethical guardrails and robust governance frameworks.
The proliferation of hate speech and disinformation.
The amplification of social divides and economic inequalities.
And the risks posed by Artificial Intelligence, from deep fakes to biased decisions by neural networks that no human can fully explain.
Technology must be an instrument to reduce divides – not deepen them.
As the internet becomes ever more central to value creation and innovation, Least Developed Countries risk falling further behind.
We must dramatically improve accessibility and inclusivity and eliminate the digital divide.
We must support the creation of digital public goods: open-source software, open data, and open content.
We must invest in the capacities of public institutions so that they have the skills and resources to understand, oversee, shape, and engage with Artificial Intelligence and other transformative technologies.
And we must come together around a Global Digital Compact – to avoid fragmentation, safeguard human rights, and ensure technology is a force for human wellbeing, solidarity, and progress.
I commend the International Telecommunication Union for working to accelerate global connectivity for all by 2030.
Let us all do our part in closing the digital divide and securing a more equitable and sustainable future everywhere.
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"Shipping is a pillar of the world economy, a catalyst of development, and a vital link connecting goods, commodities, and communities across the world." — António Guterres
"Tourism is a powerful force for progress and mutual understanding. But in order to deliver its full benefits, this force must be protected and nurtured." — António Guterres
"It is a pleasure to send greetings to everyone participating in the General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency." — António Guterres
Members of the UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine will give a press conference in Geneva at the conclusion of the oral update to the Human Rights Council (HRC).