Distinguished Co- facilitators,
At the outset, I would like to congratulate you both, Ambassador Anna Karin Eneström (Sweden) and Ambassador Claver Gatete (Rawanda), on your appointment as Co-facilitators to lead this important intergovernmental process. I thank you for convening the first informal consultations today. Please rest assured that you will have my delegation’s full support. We also thank the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Technology for his valuable insights.
While digital technologies brought immense benefits and enhanced inclusion, they also deepened inequalities and exclusion across and within countries. Secretary General rightly said that “two seismic shifts will shape the 21st century: the climate crisis, and digital transformation”.
We fully support Global Digital Compact to improve digital cooperation, with a view to bridging digital divides and accelerating the positive contribution of digital technologies in achieving the 2030 Agenda. We align ourselves with the statement made by Cuba on behalf of G-77 and China. I also particularly appreciate the ideas put forward by the Permanent Representative of Singapore.
In terms of our national priorities in the digital compact let me highlight the following points:
First, the compact must ensure digital equity through effective international cooperation. It must recognize the need of the developing countries to have access to, and affordability for and availability of various new technologies. The compact should devise effective mechanism for technology transfer to the countries in the Global South as a priority.
Second, we wish to stress that the Compact should outline shared principles and guidelines to define the future landscape of global digital cooperation. It must ensure that the development perspective of digital cooperation remains at the front and center of the Compact, so that all countries across the globe can harness the full potential of ongoing digital transformation.
Third, countries in the global South would need investment in digital infrastructure, affordable internet access, and digital skills development for an equitable digital economic transformation. South-South and Triangular Cooperation can play a vital and complementary role in accelerating digitalization and equitable distribution of the benefits of this digital transformation.
Fourth, the compact must integrate polices regarding the use of digital technologies to address the climate crisis and other environmental challenges humanity faces. Transitioning to green technologies can help industries and societies offset carbon emissions, limit the scale of climate change and mitigate already-occurring impacts.
Fifth, Given the dynamic nature of digital development, it is also important that the Compact is flexible, and provides opportunities for multistakeholder consultation while preserving the intergovernmental nature of the negotiations.
Finally, we already have a huge resource material on the digital issues in the UN. It is imperative to make those issues COMPACT in true sense. The proposed compact should provide focus on digital technology’s practical uses in the areas of citizens’ need, governance, economy and society. We look forward to the development of a global digital compact to strengthen digital cooperation through an open and inclusive process. Digital is future. Time is now.
I thank you.