Connect2Recover: Building back better with broadband webinar
9:50-11:20 (New York, USA, -5 GMT) / 15:50 – 17:20 (CEST)
The session supports the call to bridge the digital divide focussed on Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Land Locked Developing Countries (LLDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and to build back better with broadband for more resilience in the face of future shocks and adjustment to the new normal. This webinar will provide a forum for Member States to hear more about the global Connect2Recover Initiative that aims to reinforce the digital infrastructure and ecosystems of beneficiary countries.
The webinar will also feature the ITU Global Network Resiliency Platform (#REG4COVID), demonstrating initiatives and measures around the world to help ensure communities remain connected, during the COVID-19 crisis.
The webinar will highlight the importance for countries to adopt National Emergency Telecommunication Plans, and present a set of proposals for effective telecommunications contingency planning and response for pandemics.
The webinar will also provide an opportunity to learn from practical implementation efforts at the country level, and to share experiences on addressing the bottlenecks and gaps in policies and strategies to increase resilience to future pandemics.
At the end of 2019, just over half the global population (51%) were using the internet. However, for the 47 UN-designated least developed countries, only 19 % of the population are internet users and many of the world’s unconnected live in the LDCs. Lack of access during the COVID-19 Pandemic has had the worst impact on communities that are poorly connected, lack affordable access, or lack digital skills. This has affected all aspects of life including education, healthcare, business, and access to government services.
The education sector has borne the brunt of the pandemic and has seen the largest mass disruption of the modern education system in history. UNICEF estimates that 2.2 billion children and young people aged 25 years or less – two-thirds of children and young people worldwide – are still unconnected and deprived of digital technologies and services that have proven essential to education during the pandemic.
ITU data clearly show the stark digital divide within LDCs and between LDCs and developed countries. COVID-19 shone a bright light on the urgency of bridging the gap to ensure no one is left behind as digital transformation continues to accelerate. Connect2Recover is a global initiative from ITU that aims to reinforce the digital infrastructure and ecosystems of beneficiary countries and to provide a means of utilizing digital technologies such as telework, e-commerce, remote learning and telemedicine to support COVID-19 recovery efforts and preparedness for the ‘new normal’ (and potential future pandemics and other natural hazards), and, where it is still needed, to prevent the spread of COVID-19 infections while maintaining socio-economic activities.
TARGET AUDIENCE & PARTICIPATION
Representatives of ministries, departments and institutions, in particular from environment, labour, health, finance, statistics, industry and trade, and standards are welcome to attend.