Accelerating digital development through Multistakeholder Partnerships

3:00 pm
 – 5:30 pm

SDG17 peer-learning session on ‘Accelerating digital development through multistakeholder partnerships’ of the 2022 UN Regional Forum for Sustainable Development for the UNECE Region will be held virtually on 6 April 2022 from 15:00 to 17:30 CEST.

It is organized by the UN Digital Transformation Group for Europe and Central Asia, coordinated by ITU and UNECE, with the contribution of UNDP, UNIDO and WMO. The session will benefit from English-Russian interpretation and live captioning.

Information and communication technologies (ICTs), meaningful and universal internet connectivity, capacity building, financing mechanism, and financial inclusion are intrinsic to SDG17 “Partnerships for the Goals”, and all are crucial for an inclusive, sustainable, and resilient digital transformation. In addition, and as highlighted by SDG 17, digital development can only be made through a multistakeholder and partnership-based approach, and with the direct leadership of governments, policymakers, and the regulator community. The UN Secretary-General’s Roadmap for Digital Cooperation has called for concrete actions by diverse stakeholders and a more effective architecture to enhance global digital cooperation in order to: (i) connect all communities and overcome the digital divide; (ii) take a human-centered digital transformation which respects rights and (iii) protect everyone from online risk and harms. Since then, a series of concrete actions have been supported by the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Technology.

In light of the above, and with the aim to review the achievement of the SDG17, in particular targets related to internet connectivity (17.6) and technology, including ICTs (17.7 and 17.8), this session will seek to strengthen and promote the development of digital society and economy through multistakeholder partnerships.

It will provide an opportunity for UN Agencies, Member States, the private sectors, the academia sector, NGOs, and additional stakeholders to discuss collaborative actions, initiatives, and partnerships that advance digitalization and digitization processes alongside encouraging global partnerships for SDG focused digital development.

In particular, the session will address four pillars: connecting people everywhere, empowering communities, building digital ecosystems, and incentivizing investments. It will provide an opportunity for highlighting a series of strategic multistakeholder partnerships aiming at providing concrete support to the countries in their endeavors of accelerating digital transformation, ensuring that no one is left behind. It will include and is not limited to the following:

  • Partner2connect Digital Coalition, an alliance gathering actors from the private sectors, UN sister agencies, Governments, and Youth organizations, aiming to foster digital transformation and meaningful connectivity.
  • Giga initiative, which aims to grasp the power of meaningful connectivity to fast track young people’s access to educational resources and opportunities, and works with partner countries to systematically help governments connect every school to the internet through a four pillars approach: mapping, connecting, financing and empowering.
  • GovStack Initiative: The GovStack initiative aims to build a common understanding and technical practice on fundamental reusable and interoperable digital components, which we collectively refer to as Building Blocks.  It aims to enable countries to kickstart their digital transformation journey by adopting, deploying, and scaling digital government services.

Partnerships among member states and regional actors of development are also prominent. The session will be the occasion to update and exchange on the European Commission’s recently launched ‘Global Gateway’, a ‘Team Europe’ (EU-Members States- Financial institutions) commitment unveiled by Commission President Von der Leyen. Global Gateway is put forward as the EU’s new connectivity strategy: a way to build and foster partnerships with countries around the world, investing in quality infrastructure, connecting goods, people and services.

The discussion and key policy actions put forward by panelists will be channeled to the ECOSOC High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) 2022, the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum 2022, and the Partner2Connect Digital Coalition.