Regulation matters: for the people, the planet and prosperity

Cosmas Luckyson Zavazava, Director, Telecommunication Development Bureau, ITU

Today, we closed the 22nd edition of the Global Symposium for Regulators (GSR‑23) with the highest number of participants in the event’s history: 757 participants – heads of regulatory authorities, ministers and captains of industry gathered in Sharm el‑Sheikh, Egypt.

GSR‑23 concluded with a strong message to regulate and connect for people, for the planet and for prosperity.

This year’s edition of GSR‑23, held under the theme “Regulation for a sustainable digital future,” explored purposeful and collaborative regulation for meaningful universal connectivity to accelerate the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Key highlights come from the Industry Advisory Group on Development Issues and Private Sector Chief Regulatory Officers’ (IAGDI-CRO) session, the Regional Regulatory Associations meeting, and the Heads of Regulators’ Executive Roundtable, held as part of curtain-raising to GSR-23.

As GSR‑23 re-affirmed, knowledge exchange breaks down key barriers that lie in our path to universal connectivity and sustainable digital transformation.

To that end, the GSR‑23 Best Practice Guidelines released today identify and address where economic incentives are needed to achieve meaningful connectivity, or to support wider digital access, adoption, and use.

The guidelines set out key cross-sector digital policy and regulatory principles, highlight ground-breaking collaborative approaches, and encourage the development of investor-friendly markets that promote competition while stimulating innovation.

I want to thank all the regulators for contributing to this year’s GSR‑23 Best Practice Guidelines and I want to thank our GSR Chair, Eng. Hossam El-Gamal for his leadership.

Collaborative regulation is key

This old Egyptian saying sums it all: One hand can’t clap!

For all of us to thrive, we need collaborative regulation across sectors, across borders and across regions.

At the height of COVID‑19, flexible and fit-for-purpose regulation kept the world connected. Today, as we officially enter the post-pandemic era, regulators can fully focus on the next challenge: digital transformation.

We are moving from narrow to cross-sectoral, from silos to collaborative regulation, and bridging silos and leaping gaps is now more important than ever.

New conversations and innovation sum up GSR‑23.

To ensure that those conversations and collaborations continue throughout the year, we have launched some important new initiatives in the ITU Development Sector (ITU‑D).

Notable examples from GSR-23 include:

  • The Digital Regulation Network (DRN) – a convening a platform to facilitate cross-sectoral collaboration, consultation, and experimentation among national, regional, and global regulators and regulatory associations. It aims to accelerate sustainable digital transformation through laid out approaches to collaborative regulation that will include twinning.
  • Newly published Collaborative Digital Regulation Country Reviews – with authoritative analysis of national regulatory landscapes and clear, practical guidance for achieving G5 regulation and digital transformation.

Today, more than ever, collaboration is the name of the regulation game.

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