The Pre-WTDC-17 Ministerial Roundtable on ICT④SDGs in Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs), and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) took place on 8 October 2017, at 14:00 - 16:00, Quebracho room (A&B), Hilton Buenos Aires Hotel, in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The 2015 Agenda for Sustainable Development has pledged that "no one will be left behind", to ensure that all people equally benefit from the rights and opportunities that the SDGs voice. In terms of ICTs, this means that efforts need to focus on achieving a truly inclusive information society. The last decade has seen great progress in terms of connecting previously unconnected areas and ICTs have brought new opportunities to most people in the world. However, still today, 3.9 billion people, constituting more than half the world’s total population, are offline. The majority of these people live in the world’s most vulnerable countries. In many developing countries - in particular the least developed countries (LDCs), the landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) and small island developing states (SIDS) - development challenges also hamper the spread of ICTs. These challenges include limited and costly access to national and international connectivity in small and isolated communities, difficulties in the rollout of terrestrial communication infrastructure across large land areas, and lack of or limited direct access to the sea.
The Ministerial Roundtable highlighted how ICTs are accelerating the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and discussed national initiatives on how to address and overcome barriers to ICT affordability, connectivity, access, and use. It identified ICT strategies and policies, innovative technologies, and investment opportunities to drive ICT developments. It also highlighted the role of the private sector.
The event also included the presentation of ITU special report on ICTs, LDCs and the SDGs - Achieving universal and affordable Internet in the Least Developed Countries, which has been prepared by ITU, jointly with the UN Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS).
Watch a webcast of the Ministerial Roundtable and read the final report (pdf) and an article about the event as published in the ITU News.