22 Jun 2024, 20:17

BIMSTEC urged to work on access to digital technology

DHAKA, 22 June 2024 (BSS) - Speakers at the Regional Consultation on Global Digital Compact (GDC) today urged BIMSTEC Member States to work together on addressing disparities in access to digital technology within and among countries.

Bangladesh and the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Secretariat organized the two-day regional consultation on GDC at a city hotel, a foreign ministry statement said here.  

Speaking as the Chief Guest at the opening session, Chairman of Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology Kazi Nabil Ahmed highlighted the importance attached to GDC by Bangladesh in the context of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's vision for a "Smart Bangladesh".

He underscored the need for enhanced access to digital infrastructures and economy by fostering inclusivity and innovation toward leaving no one behind.

The consultation aims to identify and promote shared objectives and relevant priorities towards facilitating a unified voice in the ongoing negotiations on GDC at the UN in New York.

The consultation involves relevant government officials and experts from BIMSTEC Member States and representatives from UN-ESCAP and BIMSTEC Secretariat.

BIMSTEC Secretary General Ambassador Indra Mani Pandey stressed the need for collaboration among Member States for promoting an open, safe and inclusive digital landscape.

He emphasized that GDC should help better understand the challenges that countries face in dealing with emerging technologies, digital economy and cyber security etc.

He thanked the UN Secretary General and his Envoy on Technology for launching the idea of GDC and working on its adoption during the UN Summit of the Future in September 2024.

Foreign ministry's Director General (SAARC & BIMSTEC) Abdul Motaleb Sarker outlined some areas of mutual interest within GDC for BIMSTEC Member States.

He also mentioned certain issues that the Bangladesh delegation has so far suggested incorporating in the Global Compact.

Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS) Vice President Syed Mohammad Kamal expressed hope that the consultation would find ways to ensure an inclusive, safe and equitable future and drive innovation within the ICT industry through the active participation of the private sector and other stakeholders.

The two-day consultation consists of five technical sessions where BIMSTEC Member States will have an opportunity to discuss priorities concerning five key GDC objectives, leveraging the region's collaborations and efforts to ensure a secure digital environment and promote sustainable technological advancement.



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