ITU Ministerial Roundtables: Cooperation in mission to 'build the digital world together'

October 22, 2020 | 08:43 am GMT+7

The ITU Ministerial Roundtables, which opened on October 20, emphasized cooperation in digital transformation and sustainable development.


 The ITU Ministerial Roundtables took place right after the opening session of the ITU Virtual Digital World 2020. This is the first time the event is being held online, using the platform developed by Vietnam.

The ITU Ministerial Roundtables focused on discussions on the role of ICT in pandemic response and digital strategy planning during and after the Covid-19 pandemic, and ITU's cooperation with member countries in implementing digital transformation programs.

"Mission to build the digital world together"

He said that, thanks to the efforts of the Government and the entire population, the Covid-19 pandemic has been controlled in Vietnam and the ICT industry has played an important role in this result. Many digital platforms and applications have been deployed in response to the pandemic and they have changed people's lives in the new normal.Speaking at the opening session, Minister Nguyen Manh Hung thanked the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) for supporting Vietnam to organize the ITU Digital World 2020 in the online form. At the same time, he affirmed the leading role of ITU to overcome the challenges of humanity in its journey from the real world to the virtual world.
Recently, the Vietnamese Prime Minister approved the National Digital Transformation Program to build a digital Vietnam, moving towards greater innovation, greater resilience and sustainability. Institutional reform, cybersecurity, and digital platforms will be key factors in accelerating Vietnam's digital transformation.
Minister Nguyen Manh Hung also affirmed that Vietnam is committed to supporting and accompanying ITU and its member countries in building the digital world. "We will go together, because we want to go far," he said.
Digital transformation is an irreversible trend
But the Deputy Prime Minister also said that digital transformation is not only about technology transformation, but more importantly, is the transformation in thinking, content and policy content at both macro and micro level. Vietnam has determined that it needs a stronger digital transformation in order to serve people, and not leave anyone behind.Speaking at the Ministerial Roundtables, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam said: “Digital transformation gradually becomes an irreversible trend, opening up for every country, every economy, every organization and every person unprecedented growth opportunities. Along with that are challenges and demands for self-regulation."
Mr. Dam said, to join hands in developing digital technology, promoting digital transformation for a world of peace, cooperation and prosperity and at this moment – defeating the Covid-19 pandemic - the Ministerial Roundtables should discuss developing a digital strategy during and after the pandemic, including directions for cooperation between ITU and member countries; promoting the construction of open standards for 5G network technology to create competition among manufacturers, reducing network construction costs; at the same time, seeking the unity of building international conventions on cyberspace to promote cooperation on the basis of ensuring cyber security, national sovereignty, rights and interests of citizens in network space.
Technology is the key to overcoming Covid-19 pandemic

Mr. Houlin Zhao, ITU Secretary General, said that over the past time the world has seen the importance of ICT in responding to the Covid-19 pandemic. The ITU member countries and partners have joined hands to go through the current difficult period and accelerate the speed of transition to the digital world, narrowing the digital gap worldwide. This is an opportunity to share opinions and discuss the next important steps to make progress in ICT development without face-to-face meetings.During the session, the ministers and representatives of ITU highly appreciated Vietnam's efforts and successes as the host country, that holds an international event in the online form for the first time.
He also affirmed that ITU needs to mobilize resources and work closely with each other. He said that this event is the foundation to promote cooperation between partners, government agencies, businesses and social organizations. "ITU is willing to cooperate to develop ICT infrastructure, together analyze and evaluate opportunities to speed up connected resources, develop the ICT industry and recover rapidly after the pandemic," he said.
Increase people's access to technology
Leaders of the global ICT industry discussed policy changes as a result of Covid-19 to increase people's access to IT through reduced service costs.
A representative of the Maldives said that during the epidemic time, government agencies and businesses worked together to help people maintain socio-economic activities thanks to IT platform. The Internet has become the most effective tool to ensure that even though people are socially isolated, they are still close in digital space. Many small islands are connected by 4G network and during social distancing, all people have free access or discounted data packages.
Meanwhile, a representative of Cambodia said the Covid-19 pandemic gave the country an opportunity to promote IT, digitize production, service and commercial activities, and maintain the sustainable resistance of the socio-economy. “The rise of online activities has forced us to adjust in parallel with the epidemic response. Cambodia is one of the countries with the lowest Internet cost and we want to harmonize investment activities, and promote 5G, broadband and IT applications,” he said.
The Cambodian representative said the country is implementing many policies to encourage extensive digital and IT activities, and is making efforts to recover from the pandemic as well as develop digitalization in the country.
The ITU Digital World 2020 takes place on October 20-22. In addition to the Ministerial Roundtables and forum sessions, the virtual exhibition is considered an important highlight to introduce countries' digital transformation achievements; virtual booths introducing products, services and solutions of organizations and businesses from member countries.
The virtual exhibition platform also allows businesses to interact directly with visitors, through surveys on the level of interest in products and services. Visiting 3D booths is supported by many modern 3D technology features and visual images and videos, making the process of accessing and searching information come alive. This is a new experience for visitors. Visitors can use tablets, mobile phones, and even new technology equipment such as virtual reality (AR/VR) glasses.