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UNCTAD eWeek 2023: Shaping the Future of the Digital Economy

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Over 3,000 participants gather for UNCTAD eWeek 2023 to tackle the challenge of harnessing digitalization for shared development. The week-long event focuses on AI, data governance, digital inclusion, and more.

Geneva, Switzerland : UNCTAD eWeek 2023 kicked off today, gathering over 3,000 participants from 130 countries. The gathering will address the critical challenge of turning digital opportunities into shared development gains.

Amidst global climate emergency, geopolitical conflicts, and economic shocks jeopardizing progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The eWeek takes on crucial importance. Only 15% of the SDGs are on track to be achieved by 2030, highlighting the urgency of action.

UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed emphasized the need for hope and opportunity in the face of these challenges. She stressed the potential of digitalization as a key driver of progress. She also cautioned against the potential for increased inequality and division if not managed properly.

UNCTAD Secretary-General Rebeca Grynspan echoed the urgency of action, highlighting the theme of eWeek – “Shaping the future of the digital economy”. With developing countries being left behind, Ms. Grynspan stressed the need for inclusive and responsible digital transformation. Emphasizing that issues like data privacy, ethical AI, and cyber security are societal concerns requiring both innovation and regulation.

eWeek 2023 features over 150 sessions addressing key topics such as:

  • Development implications of Artificial Intelligence (AI): Exploring how to leverage AI for development and ensure equity and accountability.
  • Governance of massive data flows: Discussing challenges and potential solutions for regulating data in the digital economy.
  • Promoting eco-friendly digital practices: Addressing the environmental impact of digital technologies and promoting sustainable solutions.
  • Empowering women through digital entrepreneurship: Fostering female participation and leadership in the digital economy.
  • Accelerating digital readiness in developing countries: Supporting developing nations in building the necessary infrastructure and skills for digital inclusion.

This gathering of eWeek features high-level speakers including:

  • Amandeep Singh Gill, UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Technology
  • Deemah AlYahya, Secretary-General of the Digital Cooperation Organization
  • Nizar Ben Neji, Tunisia’s Minister of Communication and Technologies
  • Henry Puna, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum
  • Top executives from global investment and IT community

The eWeek 2023 is expected to conclude with a final declaration outlining key recommendations for shaping a more inclusive and equitable digital future.

Organized with the support of the Swiss government and other donors, UNCTAD eWeek 2023 is a vital platform for fostering collaboration and driving action towards a more sustainable and prosperous digital future for all.

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