GCC Secretary-General Meets with Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh at Davos Forum    Saudi physics team wins 3 global awards in 2022 European Olympiad    SDRPY launches project to rehabilitate Haijat Al-Abed road    KSrelief Conducts 300 Surgeries as Part of Voluntary Medical Project to Combat Blindness in Al-Mukalla    SAMA governor, CMA chairman thank Saudi leadership for approving FinTech strategy    NDMC Closes the May 2022 Issuance under Saudi Arabian Government SAR-denominated Sukuk Program    Crown Prince discusses relations with members of US Congress    SFDA warns against Jif peanut butter products    KSrelief Participates in High-Level Regional Meeting on Youth    Women's green futsal team wins bronze in Gulf Games    Saudi Stock Exchange Main Index Ends Trading Higher at 12,300.86 Points    Cabinet to continue implementing initiatives and reforms to achieve Vision 2030 objectives    DCO, WEF launch initiative to boost global digital FDI flows    Uganda Supports Saudi Arabia's Bid to Host World Expo 2030    Aramco can't expand output capacity any faster, says CEO Amin Nasser warns of oil crunch    Consensus needed over digital technology for 'people and the planet'    International community urged to support new administration in Somalia    Global jobs market recovery 'has gone into reverse', warns UN labor agency    Saudi Press: Saudi Arabia Exerts Exceptional Efforts to Achieve Security and Stability in Yemen    Appeals court affirms termination of Wafa Insurance's financial restructuring    Saudi Vice Minister of Defense Visits CENTCOM Headquarters    In a Report to SPA .. SDAIA: Autonomous Vehicles Will Be Commercially Available in World by 2030, Will Account for 50% of Sales after 2045    Manchester City clinches Premier League title on dramatic final day    How Syrian singer Rasha Rizk dazzled millennials at Jeddah Season?    King Salman Park begins construction on its Royal Arts Complex    Shoura members propose equal blood money for men and women, Muslim and non-Muslim    KSrelief's Masam Project Dismantles 1,339 Mines within a Week in Yemen    British Investors Express Interest in Investing in Saudi Arabia's Food, Drug Market    7 Die in Philippine Ferry Fire; over 120 Rescued from Water    Ithra Participates in Cannes Film Festival with New Films to Support Saudi Talents    Exclusive launching of Michael Schumacher Digital Experience at Jeddah F1 Grand Prix    MoH allows 6 categories to receive second booster dose    Mbappé signs new 3-year PSG deal after rejecting Real Madrid    Saudi Aramco: London Championship to Witness Participation of World's Best Female Golfers    Saudi woman finds out she is male after 20 years    Saudi Arabia Heads to Cannes International Film Festival to Promote Country's Flourishing Industry and Support Emerging Talent on World Stage    President of SAFF Participates in AFC General Assembly Meeting    Saudi Athletes Achieve Great Victories in the 2nd Day of the GCC Games Tournament in Kuwait    Jazan Hosts West Asian Beach Soccer Championship    Bollywood actor's tweet reignited debate over Hindi as India's national language    SFDA Advises to Wash Dates Well Before Eating    SFDA Advises Against Mixing Surplus of Iftar and Suhoor with Different Foods or Surplus from Other Days    Ministry calls on imams to avoid long supplications in Tahajjud Prayer    Nothing wrong with a Muslim celebrating birthdays, says Saudi scholar    Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques addresses citizens and all Muslims on the occasion of the Holy month of Ramadan    Pilgrims Perform Dhuhr and Asr Prayers at Arafat Holy Site    Council of Senior Scholars: Muslim Brothers' Group Don't Represent Method of Islam, rather only Follows its Partisan Objectives, Violating our Graceful Religion    Eid Al-Adha Prayer Performed at the Grand Holy Mosque    

Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.

COVID-19 highlights ‘life and death' stakes for greater digital cooperation
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 12 - 06 - 2020

Managing the digital divide better has become "a matter of life and death" for people unable to access essential healthcare information during the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN chief has told a virtual high-level meeting on rapid technological change.
"Far from distracting us from the urgency of digital cooperation, COVID-19 is making it more important than ever, and demonstrating the interconnected nature of the challenges we face," Secretary-General António Guterres informed Thursday's "High-level Thematic Debate on the Impact of Rapid Technological Change on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Targets" taking place in the UN General Assembly.
Noting that digital technology is central to almost every aspect of effective pandemic response — including vaccine research, online learning models, e-commerce, and work-from-home tools — he pointed out that the digital divide between those on and offline, is threatening to become "the new face of inequality", reinforcing the social and economic disadvantages suffered by women and girls, people with disabilities and "minorities of all kinds".
Post-COVID road map
Guterres told the meeting that we are only beginning to understand the social implications of a post-COVID world. "But one thing is certain," he stated, "As we recover and rebuild, digital technology will be more prominent and important than ever."
The UN chief maintained that those without access will be left further behind and referenced a 2018 report of the High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation concerning the optimization of technology, while mitigating its potential downsides.
He announced that its recommendations to close the digital divide, including growing human and institutional capacity for today's digital age; upholding human rights in digital contexts; building cyber trust and security; and agreeing on a new global architecture for digital cooperation; were all a part of the UN's Roadmap for Digital Cooperation, which was also launched on Thursday.
"We cannot reap the full benefits of the digital age without mobilizing global cooperation to close digital gaps and reduce potential harms," upheld the Secretary-General.
Stressing the urgent need for "global vision and leadership", Guterres said that the road map calls on everyone to take concrete action together to "connect, respect and protect people in the digital age."
"Future generations will judge whether we seize the opportunities of this unprecedented moment," he said.
SDGs hang in balance
Opening the General Assembly meeting, the world body's President Tijjani Muhammad-Bande acknowledged that the COVID-19 pandemic has forced everyone to "change the way we work, teach and learn; even the way we mourn and heal."
According to Muhammad-Bande the digital divide is not only about how inequalities to access exist, but also about how rapid technological change may actually widen those disparities.
"Educational opportunities may be lost by lack of awareness and high cost of connectivity," he elaborated, adding that digital literacy, "already a defining feature of this century", will determine how societies deal with future challenges, from human rights to the climate crisis (SDG13) — encompassing a sweeping range of SDGs.
The Assembly president said, "the need to eradicate poverty [SDG1], end hunger [SDG2] and achieve quality education for all [SDG4] is more urgent than ever."
Against this backdrop, he maintained that it is the responsibility of the international community to make sure that "rapid technological changes, including their economic, social and ethical impacts, are taken into account and responded to".
Women too
The Assembly President also underscored the need to step up the pace to remove barriers to women's and girl's full participation in the digital world (SDG5), reiterating that "limited access to quality education, and affordability, as well as cultural norms, still prevent many from entering such fields".
And pointing out that 2020 marks the beginning of the Decade of Action and Delivery on the SDGs, he said, "we must be mindful not to lose sight of the commitments we have made to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development."
"We must make sure that we harness the promise of emerging technologies towards accelerating the achievement of the SDGs," said the Assembly chief. — UN News

Clic here to read the story from its source.