During a keynote speech at the forum, H.E. Eng. Majed Sultan Al Mesmar, director general of the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA) said that the challenges posed by the current situations are too great to deal with in silos. He explained that if the essence of the ICT sector is to build bridges of communication between people, then we should strengthen those bridges to understand the present and shape the future.
The United Arab Emirates participated at the World Summit on the Information Society Forum 2023 in Geneva under the slogan “WSIS Action Lines for building back better and accelerating the achievement of the SDGs.” Organized by ITU, UNESCO, UNDP and UNCTAD, the WSIS Forum is the largest annual gathering of the ICT community for sustainable development and aims to promote digital transformation and global partnerships and pursue global efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In his speech, Al Mesmar stated, “The world is changing rapidly as new technologies emerge on a daily basis. Therefore, we must keep pace with these technologies using suitable means in order to foresee their impact on our lives, maximize gains and minimize negative impact and develop relevant laws and regulations. During the World Government Summit 2023, we announced the creation of the first ICT Sandbox for this purpose, and we have already started working on it.
“The UAE's keenness to sponsor and support this honorable forum over the past 15 years falls within this understanding. We believe in the global message that we share the world, the challenges and the destiny; and sustainable development requires an interdependent and integrated world.”
The UAE delegation includes TDRA, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Health, Emirates Health Services, Abu Dhabi Digital Authority, and the Cyber Security Council.
TDRA highlighted the UAE’s accomplishments in telecommunications and digital government, which enabled government entities to provide services based on the advanced infrastructure of the telecommunications and digital government.
The forum’s current session focuses on the WSIS action map to better re-plan and achieve SDGs, coordinate activities between countries, create knowledge and exchange best practices. It continues to provide support for partnerships between multiple stakeholders and between the public and private sectors to advance SDGs and to additionally provide structured opportunities to network, learn and participate in multi-stakeholder discussions and consultations on implementing WSIS action lines.