As a result of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Ministry of Information and Communications, Viet Nam has decided to postpone ITU Digital World 2020, a global tech event for government, industry and SMEs.
In a statement, ITU said: “We believe this is the best and safest course of action to ensure the well-being and safety of all event participants and guarantee a successful event.”
Adding that the world is facing an unprecedented threat from COVID-19, the organisation said that ICT has become a key ally in combatting this threat and helping to prevent, detect and diagnose disease.
“It has taken on new importance in connecting us for health, work, education, entertainment, news, public announcements and to our friends and families. For the first time, digital solutions and platforms are being used on a massive scale to help cope with and respond to a pandemic,” the ITU said.
The ITU also called for action to ensure fair access to ICTs. “We must set ambitious, measurable goals for ensuring an equitable transition to the digital age. The SDGs offer an ideal framework for this, and ICTs themselves are essential tools for the achievement of these goals,” the organisation added.
“International events such as ITU Digital World 2021 are more important than ever as a platform bringing together the global ICT community to learn, share knowledge, debate and network. We must work together to highlight the critical importance of ICT in the wake of COVID-19, address the stark inequalities of access and adopt concrete and urgent measures to accelerate digital transformation across all sectors and to connect all global citizens to digital services. Only by international cooperation and collaborative action will we be able to combat these types of threat, close the digital divide and build strong foundations for the future wellbeing of all,” the statement read.