WSIS UN Regional Commissions Meeting Round Table


Session 351

14:00–15:00 (UTC+02:00), Thursday, 20 May 2021 Thematic Workshop

The pandemic leads to an economic and social collapse of unthinkable magnitudes. The crisis is affecting all countries in the world but with a greater weight to less developed ones due to their structural challenges. Digital technologies have proven to be essential tools for social and economic resilience. Although there are a large number of people and organizations who have been able to mitigate the effects of the crisis through the use of digital technologies, the digital divide continues to be a challenge. In this regard, governments have been able to ease access to the Internet and communication services, through several measures, expanding their access and universal programs, urging operators to provide low-cost services, granting access without cost to certain applications or websites, among other initiatives. Also, digital technologies have been essential tools for the prevention, monitoring, and treatment of the pandemic, using artificial intelligence, big data, and IoT.


Digitization also brings enormous challenges. For example, in the field of cybersecurity, with increasing threats aimed at accessing, changing, or destroying confidential information, extorting users, and interrupting productive and commercial processes. On the other hand, the use of digital tools increased concerns about privacy and personal data protection. Likewise, the use of new technologies like artificial intelligence can lead to biased in decision-making. Other technologies like 5G require standards and norms that facilitate their adoption and generate synergies. In this way, it is necessary to develop norms, regulations, policies, and guidelines that can provide safe, inclusive, affordable, and reliable access to the Internet and digital technologies.


Regional commissions within their mandate have carried out various initiatives that promote the use of digital technologies in the face of the pandemic and aligned with the principles promoted by WSIS. These initiatives include the provision of research and statistics that facilitate decision-making, develop the capacity building, and offer technical cooperation. In this webinar, these initiatives will be discussed and share.

Jean-Paul Adam
Jean-Paul Adam Director of Technology, Climate Change and Natural Resource Management Division ECA

Mario Apostolov Regional Advisor ECE

Sebastian Rovira
Sebastian Rovira Economic Affairs Officer ECLAC

Tae Hyung Kim Chief of ICT and Development Section, ICT and Disaster Risk Reduction Division ESCAP

Ayman Elsherbiny
Ayman Elsherbiny Chief of the ICT Policies Section ESCWA

Gitanjali Sah
Gitanjali Sah Strategy and Policy Coordinator ITU

Digital Economy Digital Inclusion Digital Transformation
WSIS Action Lines
  • AL C11 logo C11. International and regional cooperation

The session aims to strengthen cooperation between the regional commissions

Sustainable Development Goals
  • Goal 17 logo Goal 17: Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

The session seeks to revitalize cooperation in digital matters