ITU, UNDP Collaborate to Advance Sustainable Development Goals Digitally

Nnenna Okoronkwo, Abuja

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The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and a consortium of partners, recently convened a significant event at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, known as “Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Digital.”

This gathering, which took place on September 17th, had a primary goal: to conduct a comprehensive assessment of achievements related to the SDGs, identify gaps and opportunities, and catalyze action in preparation for the upcoming 2023 SDG Digital Summit.

ITU Secretary-General Doreen Bogdan-Martin and UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner, in a joint address, extended a warm welcome to a diverse audience, including leaders, innovators, and representatives from various sectors such as governments, the private sector, financial institutions, civil society, youth, and the UN system. They collectively emphasised the urgency of driving game-changing progress to achieve the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Amina J Mohammed, highlighted the transformative potential of digital technologies when used responsibly. She pointed out that digital technologies can offer significant benefits, particularly in terms of climate resilience and power-system stability, especially in developing countries.

Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Amina J Mohammed


During his address, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda underscored the pivotal role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in accelerating progress toward the 17 Sustainable Development Goals outlined by the United Nations. He stressed the need for a collective and coordinated approach to AI governance frameworks that prioritize the well-being of individuals and communities everywhere.

President Paul Kagame of Rwanda


The SDG Action Weekend, dedicated to amplifying digital solutions for the Sustainable Development Goals, introduced impactful High Impact Initiatives aimed at fostering sustainable and inclusive digital transformation. This summit featured leaders from government, civil society, the private sector, youth, and academia, showcasing practical examples of how data and digital technologies can recalibrate progress toward the SDGs.

Among the summit’s highlights was the introduction of the SDG Digital Game-Changers Award, a prestigious recognition honoring individuals and organizations committed to advancing the Global Goals through digital innovations. The award ceremony took place at the UN Headquarters.

Voice of Nigeria reports that the upcoming 2023 SDG Digital forum will undertake a comprehensive assessment of Digital Public Infrastructure and explore strategies to ensure that all countries adopt Inclusive and Open Digital Ecosystems, imperative for SDG achievement. It will also review the UN High Impact Initiative on Digital Public Infrastructure-DPI, designed to foster collective action and ensure the safety, accessibility, affordability, sustainability and future readiness of DPI.

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