Side-Event-LDC5: ICTs for accelerating the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Least Developed Countries (LDCs) – from potential to prosperity

United Nations Group on the Information Society (UNGIS – ITU, UNESCO, UNDP, UNCTAD, UN ECA), and the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)

Session 346

Sunday, 5 March 2023 15:15–16:45 (UTC+01:00) Special Session

A side-event of the 5th United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC5) being held in Doha, Qatar. Session time: 5 March 2023, 17:15 - 18:45 AST, Doha time. Venue: Auditorium 3

Digital technologies are rapidly transforming societies and economies, and have the potential to address complex and interconnected development challenges and build a sustainable future for all - as envisioned in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. However, more needs to be done to leverage the development potential of digital technologies, especially when  roughly one-third of the global population  remain unconnected to the Internet .  

After around 20 years of engagement from all WSIS stakeholders, the WSIS process remains the leading global platform for multistakeholder collaboration to make ICTs a critical driver of global development.


Highlighting the theme of the WSIS Forum 2023 (13-17 March), this session will focus on how ICTs and the WSIS Action Lines can help build back better and accelerate the achievement of the SDGs in LDCs, learning from the COVID-19 experience to build an inclusive, resilient, and sustainable societies and economies. The session will emphasize the importance of strengthening partnerships and digital cooperation to achieve goals and targets across the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and to deliver on The Doha Programme of Action adopted in 2022. 

Moreover, this discussion will focus on the strategic ways and concrete actions that governments, and partners leverage ICTs, raising key challenges and gaps, identifying digital capacities to prioritize based on needs on the ground, and the synergies necessary to support those, in the context of the LDCs.

Since its inception, UNGIS has played an important role in the WSIS process, including forging collaboration and partnerships among UN Chief Executives Board (CEB) members to achieve WSIS objectives. UNGIS is committed to maintaining ICT and science and technology issues at the top of the UN agenda and advocating for the implementation of ICTs for development solutions in the programmes of CEB members. Drawing on the respective competencies of the different members of the Group, UNGIS is working collectively to implement more coordinated actions, greater coherence and effectiveness in the UN’s overall support to the implementation of the WSIS outcomes.

The WSIS process is built on the framework of the 11 WSIS Action Lines that cover all aspects of ICTs for development. Since 2015, the WSIS process and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development have been aligned, so that stakeholders can integrate ICTs into their approaches in executing the activities/initiatives to realize the 2030 Agenda.

Ms. Doreen Bogdan-Martin
Ms. Doreen Bogdan-Martin Secretary-General International Telecommunication Union

Ms. Rebeca Grynspan
Ms. Rebeca Grynspan Secretary-General United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

Mr. Nikhil Seth
Mr. Nikhil Seth Assistant Secretary-General, Executive Director The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)

Dr. Cosmas Luckyson Zavazava, PhD
Dr. Cosmas Luckyson Zavazava, PhD Director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT) International Telecommunication Union

H.E. Jagdish D. Koonjul
H.E. Jagdish D. Koonjul Ambassador Permanent Mission of the Republic of Mauritius to the United Nations in New York

Mr. Chris Sharrock
Mr. Chris Sharrock Vice President, UN & International Organizations Microsoft

H.E. Sheikha Alya Ahmed bin Saif Al Thani
H.E. Sheikha Alya Ahmed bin Saif Al Thani Ambassador and Permanent Representative Permanent Mission of the State of Qatar to the United Nations in New York

Mr. Adel Mohamed Darwish
Mr. Adel Mohamed Darwish Director ITU Regional Office for Arab States Moderator

WSIS Action Lines
  • AL C1 logo C1. The role of governments and all stakeholders in the promotion of ICTs for development
  • AL C2 logo C2. Information and communication infrastructure
  • AL C3 logo C3. Access to information and knowledge
  • AL C4 logo C4. Capacity building
  • AL C5 logo C5. Building confidence and security in use of ICTs
  • AL C6 logo C6. Enabling environment
  • AL C7 E–GOV logo C7. ICT applications: benefits in all aspects of life — E-government
  • AL C7 E–BUS logo C7. ICT applications: benefits in all aspects of life — E-business
  • AL C7 E–LEA logo C7. ICT applications: benefits in all aspects of life — E-learning
  • AL C7 E–HEA logo C7. ICT applications: benefits in all aspects of life — E-health
  • AL C7 E–EMP logo C7. ICT applications: benefits in all aspects of life — E-employment
  • AL C7 E–ENV logo C7. ICT applications: benefits in all aspects of life — E-environment
  • AL C7 E–AGR logo C7. ICT applications: benefits in all aspects of life — E-agriculture
  • AL C7 E–SCI logo C7. ICT applications: benefits in all aspects of life — E-science
  • AL C8 logo C8. Cultural diversity and identity, linguistic diversity and local content
  • AL C9 logo C9. Media
  • AL C10 logo C10. Ethical dimensions of the Information Society
  • AL C11 logo C11. International and regional cooperation
Sustainable Development Goals
  • Goal 1 logo Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere
  • Goal 2 logo Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
  • Goal 3 logo Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all
  • Goal 4 logo Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
  • Goal 5 logo Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
  • Goal 6 logo Goal 6: Ensure access to water and sanitation for all
  • Goal 7 logo Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
  • Goal 8 logo Goal 8: Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all
  • Goal 9 logo Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
  • Goal 10 logo Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries
  • Goal 11 logo Goal 11: Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
  • Goal 12 logo Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
  • Goal 13 logo Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
  • Goal 14 logo Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources
  • Goal 15 logo Goal 15: Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss
  • Goal 16 logo Goal 16: Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies
  • Goal 17 logo Goal 17: Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development