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WSIS, Forum, 2020, UN, Regional, Commissions

WSIS Forum 2020 “WSIS UN Regional Commissions Meeting Round Table” UN Regional Commissions

While COVID-19 lockdowns have turned our physical lives into a virtual reality almost overnight, digital connectivity has taken on a compelling new meaning in the region. For one, countries that have managed to put digital technologies to effective use have shown signs of better combating cluster outbreaks and gaining the public’s trust by sharing credible information in a timely way. Digital platforms have also helped maintain livelihoods and enabled the effective delivery of high value-added professional services, while new products such as 3D printing of masks, disinfecting robots and software applications have boomed. However, this is only possible with universal access to affordable and reliable broadband internet all the time. Even for those that have access, quality (speed and delays) and affordability often keep the Internet out of reach. This entails tackling the digital divide from both the supply and demand side. Failing to do so, the digital divide threatens to become the new face of inequality, exacerbating not only income inequality but in opportunity as well.

This roundtable session facilitates reporting by UN Regional Commissions on their respective programmes and activities in each major region on promoting the implementation of the WSIS action lines. It also promotes the sharing of regional experiences and perspectives on the role of digital technology in a COVID-19 world.

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