Statement on Information and Communication Technologies for Sustainable Development
(Item 17)(19 October 2018)

Thank you Chair,

Pakistan aligns its statement with the statement made by Egypt on behalf of G77 and China.

We thank the Secretary General for his report on "Progress made in the implementation of and follow-up to the outcomes of the World Summit for the Information Society at the regional and international levels".

Mr. Chair,

Pakistan attaches great significance to the issues related to information technology like digital divides among and within countries, frontier technologies and jobs sustainability, sustainable development, and Internet governance.

It is a matter of great concern that according to ITU estimates there were 97 mobile broadband subscriptions per 100 people in developed countries in 2017, compared with 48 in developing countries and 22 in the least developed countries.

Frontier technologies hold immense promise, yet there are concerns that technological innovation will lead to increased unemployment, suppressed wages and greater inequality.

We believe that the right policy mix and institutional arrangements can ensure that benefits of innovation are shared broadly, which is an essential step to achieving the sustainable development for all.

Effective and sustainable technical assistance and capacity building tailored to the specific needs and constraints of developing countries are also destined to address these issues.

We also attach great importance on the full and effective implementation of the outcomes of both the Geneva and Tunis phases of the Summit, including provisions related to Internet Governance and Enhanced Cooperation.

We believe governments, as well as the United Nations, should create a regulatory and legal framework that facilitates the diffusion, and transfer of new technologies, while helping to address their negative consequences.

We believe the World Summit on Information Society outcome documents set out the principles, which the international community should follow in shaping a “people-centred, inclusive and development-oriented Information Society”, which contributes to the three pillars of sustainable development: economic prosperity, social equity and environmental sustainability.

Mr. Chair,

Telecommunication sector of Pakistan has experienced a swift growth during recent years especially in mobile segment. Similarly, use of broadband for home and business purposes is continuously on the rise.

Pakistan established its telecommunication authority in 1996 with a vision to create a fair regulatory regime to promote investment, encourage competition, protect consumer interests, and ensure high quality information and communication technology services.

Pakistan’s efforts for the proliferation of telecom services and bridging the digital divide were recognized with the ‘GSMA Government Leadership Award 2017’ at the biggest annual telecom industry gathering at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

Our Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication acts as national focal Ministry and enabling arm of the Government for planning, coordinating and directing efforts to initiate and launch Information Technology and Telecommunications programs and projects aimed at economic development of the country.

We have also established software technology parks in several educational and industrial hubs in Pakistan in order to provide enabling environment for growth in this Sector.

E-Government Directorate of Pakistan was established in 2002, which initiated several projects including online service delivery to the people as well enhanced coordination among various government offices and entities.

Mr. Chair,

Let me conclude by saying there are great challenges as well immense opportunities that exist side-by-side in the domain of information and communication technologies.

A carefully carved-out global policy keeping in mind the specific requirements and cultural sensitivities of countries is the need of the hour to maximize the gains from this domain.