|Vietnamese Ambassador Duong Chi Dung, head of the Vietnamese permanent mission to the UN, WTO and other international organisations in Geneva
The seminar held on the sidelines of the 37th session of the UN Human Rights Council brought together 60 representatives from countries, international and non-governmental organisations.
The participants discussed the positive impacts of ICT on socio-economic development, human rights promotion and the fulfillment of sustainable development goals in the UN’s 2030 Agenda.
Many emphasised the importance of cooperation between developing and developed nations in maximising and handling ICT challenges, including those relating to human rights.
They also shared ICT initiatives and achievements, along with ICT’s impacts on promoting economic, cultural and social rights in their countries.
In his opening remarks, Vietnamese Ambassador Duong Chi Dung, head of the Vietnamese permanent mission, talked about ICT policies, development and application in public services and agricultural production and trading in Vietnam.
He also pointed out ICT challenges facing the country like limited investment, backward technologies and the disappearance of several traditional crafts in the country.
Zenysha Shaheed Zaki, Maldives Minister of Gender and Family, shared her country’s experience in applying ICT in protecting the rights of disadvantaged groups, fighting violence against children and empowering female business leaders.
Meanwhile, Ambassador Rajiv Kumar Chander, head of the Indian mission in Geneva, said the Indian government has considered ICT a tool to escape from poverty, adding that India has seriously invested in ICT.
He also introduced ICT applications in health care, education and agriculture in India, and challenges facing the ICT sector in the country.
Head of the Japanese mission in Geneva, Ambassador Junichi Ihara underlined the need to pour huge resources into ICT infrastructure to make the best use of the sector.
Japan has committed US$300 million in support of the ICT sector in developing countries in the next three years, the ambassador said, calling on international organisations in Geneva to increase exchanges and coordination to utilise ICT potential.
Catalin Marinescu, a representative from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), said each 10 percent rise in broadband penetration could increase economic growth by 1.4 percent.
Besides, ICT applications in production, agriculture, housing, transport and energy could help cut 20 percent of CO2 emissions in 2030, he added.
Concluding the event, Ambassador Dung stressed the importance of international cooperation, especially collaboration between developed and developing nations, in narrowing digital gaps, enhancing sustainable development and reducing inequality.