International organizations called for efforts to reinforce global communication and cooperation, and promote the building of a community with a shared future in cyberspace, so as to allow achievements in internet development to benefit people all over the world.
They made the remarks at the opening ceremony of the 2022 World Internet Conference Wuzhen Summit, which opened on Wednesday in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province.
The three-day conference, with the theme, “Toward a Shared Digital Future in a Connected World — Building a Community With a Shared Future in Cyberspace”, is both timely and forward-looking, said Li Junhua, under-secretary-general for economic and social affairs of the United Nations.
“The United Nations attaches the priority to the digital technologies and the internet in building a prosperous, inclusive and shared future with no one left behind.”
Li said he is pleased to note that many issues being addressed at the Wuzhen Summit are also closely related to those that will be discussed at the UN’s Internet Governance Forum, which will be held in Addis Ababa from Nov 28 to Dec 2, adding he is confident that the outcomes of the Wuzhen Summit will provide a timely contribution to the IGF.
John Hoffman, CEO of GSMA Ltd, an international association of mobile operators, emphasized the significance of making sure that everyone benefits fairly as the internet-based economy continues to expand.
“We are now seeing 5G begin to take off around the world with China as one of its global pioneers, and with it, we are seeing even more transformation, as 5G automates our factories, connects our cities, connects transport, provides innovative healthcare and remakes education.”
However, about 3.7 billion people are not yet benefitting from access to the mobile internet. “So as we work toward building a better future, and more inclusive and connected society, we must focus on closing these gaps to make sure that everyone has the chance to benefit from the transformational power of internet access,” he added.
Zhao Houlin, secretary-general of International Telecommunication Union, said: “Using digital technology to promote social and economic development, bridge the development gap and achieve sustainable economic and social development in the post-COVID era is crucial. To meet these goals, however, requires considerable effort from the international community.”
The ITU is willing to continue strengthening cooperation with the World Internet Conference, promoting digital cooperation among all parties in cyberspace, fostering the expansion of network infrastructure and jointly building a more equitable and reasonable, open and inclusive, secure and stable, vibrant and sustainable cyberspace, Zhao said.