Together, ITU member countries can help to digitally connect everyone by 2030

October 18, 2021 | 09:28 am GMT+7

The ITU Digital World 2021 with the theme "Joining hands to build a digital world" organized online by Vietnam’s Ministry of Information and Communications and ITU has closed.


Acknowledging that the goal of helping everyone connect by 2030 is almost an impossible mission, Vietnamese Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung said that, if working together, member countries of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) can turn this goal into reality.

The ITU Digital World 2021 with the theme "Joining hands to build a digital world" organized online by Vietnam’s Ministry of Information and Communications and ITU closed on October 14.

In the closing speech, Minister Nguyen Manh Hung affirmed that changing the name of the event from "Telecom World" to "Digital World" was the right decision. The integration of telecommunications, information and digital technologies has created a revolution called Digital Transformation.

Over the past three days, Ministers and leaders of the telecommunications, IT and digital industries from many countries around the world have shared Vietnam's views, policies and initiatives on digital transformation.

The online conferences of ITU Digital World 2021 had the participation of 2,400 delegates from 160 countries, the Vietnamese Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister of Moldova, Ministers of 32 countries and Deputy Ministers of eight countries. As many as 90 speakers from major research institutes and technology corporations also participated and shared their ideas at the event.

Within three days, 160,000 delegates visited and experienced the Virtual Exhibition within the framework of ITU Digital World 2021.

“This is an unforgettable event. We have experienced an unprecedented crisis and will continue to be affected by the Covid pandemic. However, with the support of the host country and the direction and cooperation of the Minister of Information and Communications of Vietnam, staff, and ITU members, we had a very successful event,” said ITU Secretary General Houlin Zhao.

Digital transformation is a mindset

“The policy of one country can be very helpful to others. The success or failure of one country may be very valuable to others. In this process, the ITU plays an important role in sharing the best practices, driving investment and leading global initiatives,” said Minister Nguyen Manh Hung.Minister Nguyen Manh Hung said that developed and developing countries are facing common challenges related to the pandemic and issues of Digital Transformation. The ITU Ministerial Roundtable discussed the key elements for Digital Transformation including: Broadband Infrastructure, Cutting Costs, Role of Governments.

He also said that we all have the same goal, a mission to help all people connect by 2030. With nearly 50% of the world's population still unconnected, this is almost an impossible mission. However, we can make this goal a reality if we work together, if governments work together with the ICT sector, he said.

According to the Vietnamese ICT Minister, digital transformation is a significant change. It is not just about technology transformation but a mindset transformation. For a company, the success of digital transformation depends mainly on the CEO, not the CIO. For a country, the success of digital transformation depends mainly on the Prime Minister, not the ICT Minister. This is the very important difference between IT application and Digital Transformation.

Sharing the same view, Mr. Houlin Zhao said: “I think the Minister of Information and Communications of Vietnam has done a very good job by persuading his Prime Minister to take time to attend this event.”

5G - an important element in the National Digital Transformation Strategy


The ITU Secretary General said: “Developing broadband infrastructure and policies will be the key to 5G development. Deploying infrastructure is not enough, we also need to encourage the development of application solutions. Ministers should consider 5G technology an important element in the National Digital Transformation Strategy."

As planned, discussion sessions will be held from now until December 2021. According to a representative of the Vietnamese Ministry of Information and Communications, virtual exhibitions and videos of discussions are now available online for everyone to visit the virtual pavilions and explore the Ministerial Roundtable sessions.

On the evening of October 14, the last Ministerial Roundtable session with the topic “Digitalizing daily life: Government services and digital content promote digital transformation" took place, chaired by Chaesub Lee, Director of the ITU Telecommunication Standards Bureau.

At this session, ministers and experts from Lithuania, Burkina Faso, Indonesia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam and others discussed many issues such as: the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the use of digital services and content; the role of government services in promoting digital transformation; and the need for Governments, industries and relevant organizations to work together to reduce digital inequality and ensure no one is left behind.