Unequal access to opportunities and basic services, such as education and healthcare, obstruct the path to sustainable development. Leveraging digital solutions can bridge historically persistent gaps. Especially in remote and rural areas, digital education and telemedicine have been transformative.
Climate change also requires innovative technologies to curtail and prevent environmental degradation. Data-driven innovations enable effective disaster response, while secure data-sharing can empower communities to take informed decisions about their environment and resources. Other technologies such as blockchain, can play a pivotal role in enhancing economies by increasing the transparency and streamlining of global supply chains.
Applying digital technologies to secure their maximal benefit entails a specific commitment to integrating rights at every milestone of the SDGs. Equality and non-discrimination are central to the Goals; sustainable development relies on a strong rights regime that ‘promotes peaceful and inclusive societies’ (Goal 16) and ensures public access to information and freedom of expression (Target 16.10).
The synergy between Access and Innovation is not merely aspirational; it is a pragmatic strategy for revitalising the SDGs. Digital technologies supported by effective policy can address multiple challenges.
Main and Cross-cutting Subthemes: Digital Divides & Inclusion | Sustainability & Environment | Human Rights & Freedoms
• Ms. Jewel Forde, Television Producer and Presenter, Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation
• Mr. Junhua Li, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs
• Ms. Karoline Edtstadler, Minister for the EU and the Constitution, Austria
• Mr. Masanori Kondo, Secretary General, Asia-Pacific Telecommunity
• Mr. Tshilidzi Marwala, Rector, United Nations University
• Ms. Lise Fuhr, Director General, European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association (ETNO)
• Ms. Nanako Ishido, Professor, Keio University Graduate School of Media Design
• Mr. Kojo Boakye, Vice President, Public Policy, Africa, Middle East, and Turkey, Meta