As the world sees breakthroughs in technologies and trends transforming the global digital economy, it must address issues across diverse sectors ranging from health and education to employment, environment, transportation, agriculture, nutrition, disability, youth empowerment, social inclusion, gender equality and poverty reduction. Already, technology has proved critical in responding to and recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, an unprecedented health, economic and social crisis that has upended progress on many of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Rapid advancements in technology have the potential to contribute significantly to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by facilitating action on the SDGs within the framework of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). Effective policy-making will be critical to supporting efforts, particularly in developing and least developed countries, to promote innovation and advance sustainable development.
WTPF-21 will convene policy-makers from across the globe, providing a venue for exchanging views and knowledge to create shared vision on issues arising from the emergence of new telecommunication/ICT services and technologies. It will also consider any other policy issue in telecommunications/ICTs which would benefit from a global exchange of views, in addition to the adoption of opinions reflecting common viewpoints (Resolution 2 (Rev. Dubai, 2018)).
The theme for WTPF-21 – decided by Decision 611 (Rev. Council 2020) at the 2019 Session of ITU Council – is “Policies for mobilizing new and emerging telecommunications/ICTs for sustainable development: The WTPF-21 would discuss how new and emerging digital technologies and trends are enablers of the global transition to the digital economy. Themes for consideration include AI, IoT, 5G, Big Data, OTTs, etc. In this regard, the WTPF-21 will focus on opportunities, challenges and policies to foster sustainable development.”