The fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the need to take concerted action to revive the stifled global economy and unlock growth factors in both developed and developing countries. Global economic growth was uneven even before the pandemic, as was progress on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Countries now have a chance to leverage the economic recovery as an opportunity towards sustainable and inclusive development.
The digital economy can play a fundamental role as an enabler of opportunities for human development and economic improvement. The importance of investing in Information and communication technologies (ICTs), and making them available to all segments of populations, is one of the lessons of the recovery. ICTs offer opportunities to both developed and developing countries, as accelerators toward high value-added information economies that can offer equitable and sustainable growth for all.
At the same time, the ongoing global digital divide risks becoming the new face of global inequality. This is a pressing challenge and closing the gap must be a top priority. Harnessing resources from multi-stakeholder partnerships can help facilitate needed investments in digital infrastructure and capacity building. Ensuring data privacy, security and rights will also be essential for the future of digital technologies, especially for meeting the needs of developing countries.
This panel will discuss how a synergetic approach to data, platform-driven services and disruptive technologies can pave the way to economic recovery and sustainable development – the factors that the post-pandemic world needs just like lungs need air. Specifically, it will reflect on reshuffling the existing order to move forward with accelerated digitalisation and have it implemented across the board, leaving no country and no one behind. Whether we will come out stronger from this unprecedented crisis depends on how effectively and comprehensively the global community will address digital challenges for more equitable and sustainable human development.