ICTs and Sustainable Development

The spread of information and communication technology has great potential for achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by essentially becoming the facilitators and enablers. By using ICT allows to accelerate human progress, upscale critical services in health, education, financial services, bridge the educational and digital divide, enhance public awareness, bring innovation, connectivity, productivity and efficiency across many sectors. This in result will impact and develop a more knowledgeable and inclusive society. ICT particularly has the potential in enhancing access for vulnerable populations, to information, knowledge, health care and education (for example: Collabotory), which is one of the main themes of SDG- inclusivity. Understanding the importance of ICTs in achieving the global agenda the UN Member States have committed to utilizing ICTs to achieve the 2030 Agenda.

World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) is a two-phase UN summit that was initially created to evolve a platform that was aimed at addressing the issues raised by information and communication technologies. It was created to discuss and bridge the global digital divide that separates rich nations from poor by spreading access to the Internet in the developing world. The goal of WSIS is to build an inclusive and development-orientated information society where everyone can access and share information. The importance of the summit is that it is a multi-stakeholder process where representatives from member states, UN bodies, international organizations, NGO’s, civil societies and private sectors can participate and discuss the new opportunities of the information technology environment and address challenges, which is an important part of an inclusive society. As these forums allow to include and hear out the marginalized groups that are inhibited from accessing these ICTs. The WSIS+10 outcome document and the UNGA Resolution produced an overall review of the implementation of the summit outcomes in 2015, and recognized the significance of the development of ICT in achieving SDGs.