SDG Digital Event Spurs Global Commitments for Sustainable Development Through Technology

UN member states, private sector, and foundations rally to leverage digital tech for SDGs’ progress. Key players incl. Google, ZTE, Saudi Arabia, Korea pledge significant support.

The SDG Digital event, hosted by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) at the U.N. Headquarters, secured significant commitments from U.N. member states, private sector entities, and philanthropic foundations. These pledges aim to reinvigorate progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by leveraging digital technologies.

Digital technologies, when used safely and responsibly, can be catalysts of economic, social and societal transformation by creating efficiencies at scale and expanding the reach of existing solutions to support more people.

Amina J. Mohammed, U.N. Deputy Secretary-General

We are grateful to all those who are dedicating resources to the urgent mission of connecting the world. Together we can build a future where everyone, everywhere, can be part of a safe, inclusive and sustainable digital world.

Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Secretary-General, ITU

The SDG Digital Acceleration Agenda highlighted that digital technologies could positively impact 70% of the SDG targets, spanning areas like climate action, education, and poverty alleviation. Notable commitments included Google’s announcement of a new research center focusing on AI to combat food insecurity in Africa, and their USD 25 million grant for 15 AI projects under the Global Goals Impact Challenge.

Additionally, ZTE renewed their pledge to build USD 400 million worth of ICT network infrastructure annually for LDC/LLDC/SIDS countries by 2025. Saudi Arabia unveiled a global initiative with ITU to connect humanity through sustainable, affordable, and innovative solutions. Moreover, the Republic of Korea committed nearly USD 30 million for global digital development in 2023-2024.

The event also saw the launch of initiatives such as the High Impact Initiative on Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI), which received $400 million in pledges to bolster inclusive DPI solutions across 100 countries by 2030. Additionally, the Universal Safeguards for Digital Public Infrastructure Initiative was introduced to protect global digital resources in pursuit of the SDGs.

This collaborative push towards digital advancements, with key players like Google, ZTE, Saudi Arabia, and Korea, marks a critical stride in revitalizing efforts to meet the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. The contributions and commitments announced at the SDG Digital event reflect a unified commitment to leveraging technology for inclusive and sustainable progress worldwide.

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