Vietnam attends information society summit in Geneva

May 6, 2016 | 08:44 am GMT+7

Deputy Minister of Information and Communication Pham Hong Hai has been introducing Vietnam’s policies and solutions in recent years to narrow the digital gap between urban and rural areas, and between the rich and the poor.

Deputy Minister Pham Hong Hai is joining over 1,500 delegates from 140 countries at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Geneva, Switzerland, which is focusing on major trends in sustainable development, and initiatives to promote the application of IT in prioritised fields of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

In his speech at the session “Narrowing the digital gap”, which was part of the ongoing summit, the Vietnamese official said Vietnam has widely developed infrastructure for the i nformation and communication technology (ICT) sector, and reduced the rates of mobile services in order to facilitate low-income people’s access to information services. 

He also mentioned difficulties and challenges facing Vietnam in particular and developing countries in general in the field, citing the shortcomings of infrastructure networks and the underfunding for developing ICT infrastructure works. 

The deputy minister called on international organisations and countries to support Vietnam in the field. 

In a video message at the opening of the summit on May 3, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon underlined the important role played by ICT in implementing the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development , affirming that ICTs are the drivers of the global economy. 

“They have revolutionised how we communicate, interact socially and do business,” he stressed. 

ICTs also provide innovative solutions to combating climate change, improving health care and education, and empowering women and the vulnerable, he added, highlighting that ICTs will be critical to implementing the Paris Agreement on climate change and achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals. 

Ban Ki-moon urged participants to continue working to ensure universal access to a more open information society. 

As part of the summit, round-table conferences and dialogues were arranged, promoting the sharing of information and experience among participants in the field.