Digital SDGs: Regional Workshop on Digital Inclusion and Community Development

The “Digital SDGs: “Regional Workshop on Digital Inclusion and Community Development” was co-organized by ESCAP and the Korean Federation of Community Credit Cooperatives (KFCC) on 18-19 September 2023, at the United Nations Conference Centre, Bangkok, Thailand, in a hybrid modality.

This event aimed to support the regional promotion of the global SDGs Digital Day which was conducted in New York on 17 September, prior to the SDG Summit.  This workshop responded to the urgent need to address the digital divide and development gaps at the community level and promote frontier technology applications including effective digital financing models for inclusion, AI for SDGs, as well as digital cooperation through the Asia-Pacific Information Superhighway (AP-IS) as an instrument to support the achievements of SDGs.

“In the near future, we plan to set up an Information Technology Special Zone to attract global talent to do business in a tax-free and favourable legal environment, helping them turn their ideas into beautifully crafted products to conquer the world together. I would like to thank the ESCAP secretariat and the KFCC for organising this important workshop. It allowed us to share our experiences, challenges, and successes”, said Erkhembaatar Jargaltsengel, Vice Minister of Digital Development and Communications of Mongolia.

“This is a beginning of collaboration between ESCAP and the KFCC. Starting from next year, we plan to do joint research and projects for selected countries on ICT-based financial inclusion,” said Woojong Sim, Director, International Development Cooperation Team, Korean Federation of Community Credit Cooperatives.

Mr. Gevorg Mantashyan, First Deputy Minister of the High-Tech Industry of Armenia had invited policymakers and bureau members of AP-IS to join the Seventh session of the AP-IS Steering Committee and Regional Review of the World Summit on the Information Society on 8-9 November 2023 in Yerevan, Armenia.

A total of 59 participants from 16 countries in the Asia-Pacific region including senior government officials. Other regional experts from international organizations such as the United Nations Project Office on Governance (UNPOG) of Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) and the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), think tanks such as KDI School, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, Seoul National University, and the Queen Mary University of the UK, and business sectors such as Google, Accenture, and Huawei also joined the event to share their solutions for challenges and opportunities of digital transformation for SDG acceleration.

The workshop contributed to enhancing knowledge on good practices and lessons learned on digital inclusion for SDGs, in particular, community-based digital financing inclusion and AI applications for SDGs, strengthening partnerships on digital inclusion for SDGs with an emphasis on digital micro-finance models and systems in the community with an emphasis on women entrepreneurship; and exploring applications of new frontier technologies for community development including artificial intelligence and climate change technologies.

Participants including ESCAP and KFCC committed to continuing our collaboration to advance digital inclusion and digital transformation in the Asia-Pacific region through the AP-IS platform.

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