LDC5: From potential to prosperity
The Fifth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC5), organized by UN-OHRLLS, is a once-in-a-decade opportunity to accelerate sustainable development in the places where international assistance is needed the most – and to tap the full potential of the Least Developed Countries helping them make progress on the road to prosperity. Digital technologies are becoming increasingly important for the economic growth and international competitiveness of countries’ economies as well as being a vector of prosperity for the local populations. In consequence, they represent for LDCs as a potential source that can increase material prosperity and combat poverty.
Facts and Figures: Focus on Least Developed Countries
Broadband Commission Open Statement
The digital connectivity divide separating the globe’s least developed countries (LDCs) from the world as a whole shows no sign of narrowing. In fact, it is widening on key factors, according to ITU’s Facts and Figures: Focus on Least Developed Countries.
While the share of the population in LDCs using the Internet has increased since 2011 from 4 per cent to 36 per cent, about two-thirds of the LDC population remains offline. LDCs also still face numerous barriers to meaningful connectivity, including lack of infrastructure, affordability, and skills.
The Broadband Commission has issued an Open Statement to the LDC5, underscoring the vital role that digital inclusion will play in the sustainable development of LDCs.
The statement calls upon governments, the private sector, NGOs and civil society to join forces for the LDC5 Conference in making concrete pledges and putting forward initiatives towards connectivity through existing platforms, including the ITU Partner2Connect Digital Coalition and the Digital for Development Hub (D4D Hub)
The path to prosperity for the world’s least developed countries runs through digital development. This special edition of ITU’s Facts and Figures highlights the challenges confronting LDCs and should help strengthen commitments between the least developed countries and their development partners.
Ms. Doreen Bodgan-Martin, Broadband Commission Co-Vice Chair and Secretary-General of the ITU
Broadband Commission participation
Partner2Connect: Accelerating the DOHA Program of Action through partnerships for meaningful connectivity and digital transformation
This meeting will convene high-profile members of the P2C (Partner 2 Connect) pledgers’ community to explore those commitments that support the implementation of the Doha Programme of Action. It will also feature announcements of new pledges and partnerships and provide networking opportunities to foster cross-sector collaboration in LDCs.
LDC5 Private Sector Forum
The Private Sector Forum, co-organized by the UN-OHRLLS and Microsoft, in partnership with the Qatar Chamber of Commerce & Industry, will provide opportunities to build transformative partnerships and to mobilise long-term investment and finance to deliver on those ambitions.
LDC5 WSIS (World Summit on the Information Society) side event
The theme of the session is: WSIS Action Lines and ICTs for building back better and accelerating the achievement of the SDGs in LDCs.
With more than 30 groups to date, the Broadband Commission’s Working Groups convene industry leaders, government officials and civil society to address prominent issues affecting broadband access, affordability and use. The following Working Groups have released policy recommendations for expanding connectivity in LDCs.
The Working Group on Smartphone Access represents the first multi-stakeholder analysis to outline actionable recommendations to address smartphone access challenges, particularly in the least developed countries (LDCs), landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) and small island developing states (SIDS).
The Working Group was co-chaired by Rabab Fatima, UN High Representative of UN-OHRLLS, Nick Read, former CEO of Vodafone Group and Houlin Zhao, former Secretary General of the ITU, and recommends three key interventions to make smartphones accessible to all.
Currently, the Working Group’s Action Taskforce is working on completing a five-point action plan resulting from its findings.
Overlapping crises are putting the LDCs on a cliff edge. A plan to ensure they are not left behind by the 2030 Agenda is more urgent than ever. We must take this opportunity and make LDC5 a landmark and truly transformative event.
Ms. Rabab Fatima, Broadband Commissioner and Secretary-General of LDC5