Access Alert | ITU and UN Tech Envoy Announce Digital Connectivity Targets

Access Alert | ITU and UN Tech Envoy Announce Digital Connectivity Targets

On 19 April, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and ​​​​​​​​the Office of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Technology announced a set of UN targets for universal and meaningful digital connectivity to be achieved by 2030. The roadmap lays out a total of 15 targets, prioritising universality, technology, and affordability to ensure that everyone across the world can fully benefit from connectivity.

Often the focus on bridging the digital divide prioritises connecting unconnected areas, however, what is usually overlooked and that these new UN targets address, is the importance of providing meaningful connectivity. In other words, an internet connection which allows end-users to access all the benefits of the world-wide-web, including streaming services and gaming applications, as well as internet browsers and social media.

The targets are based on the ambitions of the UN sustainable development goals (SDGs), the UN Secretary-General’s Roadmap for Digital Cooperation, and the ITU’s Connect2030 Agenda, incorporating specific methodologies to achieve each action area. They are also meant as a contribution towards the forthcoming Global Digital Compact, as proposed in the UN Secretary-General’s Our Common Agenda report. The Global Digital Compact will be agreed at the Summit of the Future, likely taking place next year, and will set out shared principles for the digital future, highlighting issues such as internet governance, data protection, the regulation of AI, and of course, universal meaningful connectivity.

To find out more about what the UN digital connectivity targets could mean for governments and private companies across the globe, or for more information about the Our Common Agenda report or the upcoming Global Digital Compact, please contact Gordon Mackay at [email protected] or Bethany Marson at [email protected].

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