Information and communication technologies (ICTs) are the main enablers that will accelerate the achievement of all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the voices of people must be included, says His Excellency (H.E) Majed Sultan Al Mesmar, Deputy Director General at the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) of the United Arab Emirates, and Chairman of ITU’s 2018 Plenipotentiary Conference.
In an interview held during the conference in Dubai, he said, “Unfortunately half of the world [is] unconnected…. And this is what we need to focus on, with the support of all the Member States and the ITU family members.”
“ICTs could play a big role in building [our] capacity to prepare us for the future,” said Al Mesmar. “Here in the Plenipotentiary, [we are] being watched all over the world. They’re waiting: ‘What’s going to be the output? Will it really help preparing the world for what’s coming?’…And we have to live up to those expectations.”
“We’re living in a world that is rapidly changing. Things [are] getting disrupted … but on the other hand … technology is bringing ideas, innovation, [and] ease of life, and that’s what we really need to focus on,” said Al Mesmar.
“Now we have new players … those are the people and they have to be included [in] e-participation. Their input, their voice cannot be ignored. Their input can really enhance the product, the service being offered and … complete the circle of public-private-people partnership.”
“If that happens, then everyone is pleased. The product gets enhanced and people will be happy, because they are part of the decision, part of the solution…We would close the circle … [and] with this we are leaving no one behind, and that’s all about inclusiveness,” he concluded.