July 24th, 2019

International Organisations must co-operate more closely in the promotion of the global digital economy

LONDON, July 24 2019 – The Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) today organised a forum in London that has brought together twenty different international and regional organisations to discuss best practices to promote the development of the global digital economy.


Sharvada Sharma is the chairperson of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO). He said “that this forum is an opportunity to discuss the practical next key steps that international organisations should take to build the global digital economy. Such policy matters being discussed relate to how information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure and new technologies can be better used to achieve key economic and social objectives”.

Malcolm Johnson is the Deputy Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). He said “international collaboration, co-operation and coordination is essential for the development the digital economy across the world. And this includes the need for the implementation of international standards, especially those related to cybersecurity.”

Mats Granryd is the GSMA Director-General and is a member of the UN Broadband Commission. He said “International multi-lateral organisations must continue to work more closely to help combat the digital divide that exists in the world today. This digital divide exists in all countries in the world but sadly it exists to a greater extent in some countries than in others. Governments must learn from one another in terms of the initiatives that need to be taken so that this digital divide can be comprehensively tackled.”

Ms Manon van Tienhoven is the Senior Advisor to the Global Forum on Cyber Expertise (GFCE). She said that “with their extensive knowledge and experience on either regional developments and/or on specific cyber topics, both regional and international organizations are crucial for the success of the GFCE and global cyber capacity building.”

Bernardo Calzadilla Sarmiento is the director of ICT at the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO). He said “advances in technology such as Industry 4.0 will modernise the manufacturing sector and vertical sectors such as in the energy, transport, financial services, smart cities and media sectors. Industry 4.0 is going to bring about far reaching changes for the future of the global manufacturing sector. Governments must implement best practice initiatives to address these important changes.”

Moctar Yedaly, Director of ICT at the African Union said “this forum is analysing how new technologies can deliver stronger broadband capabilities in rural areas. New technologies will support job creation in rural communities. Agricultural production will be boosted in a more environmentally friendly manner.”

“The ideas and policy advices that are generated here today and that relate to improving broadband connectivity and access to high speed internet services can assist governments and regional organisations alike in rolling-out their digital economy plans”, said Dr Rowena Cristina L Guevara, Chairperson of the ASEAN Committee on Science, Technology and Innovation (COSTI).

Edward Zhou is Vice-President of Global Public Affairs at Huawei Technologies. He said “the private, public and government sectors must work together in identifying key policy to market initiatives that can ensure higher economic performance and can tackle key social problems through the use of ICT innovation.”

International bodies that were present at the event were:

  • African Union (AU)
  • Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
  • The Commonwealth Secretariat
  • Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO)
  • EMEA Satellite Operators Association (ESOA)
  • European Commission
  • Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)
  • Global Forum on Cyber Expertise (GFCE)
  • GSMA
  • High Commission of Canada
  • Huawei Technologies
  • International Telecommunications Union (ITU)
  • Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and numbers (ICANN)
  • OECD
  • Pacific Islands Telecommunications Association (PITA)
  • SAMENA Telecommunications Council
  • United Nations Broadband Commission
  • United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP)
  • United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO)
  • World Economic Forum (WEF)
  • UK Government : Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS)

For more information please contact Osman Siddiqui, o.siddiqui@cto.int or +44 20 8600 3820.

About the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation

The Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) is the oldest and largest Commonwealth intergovernmental organisation in the field of information and communication technologies. With a diverse membership spanning developed and least developed countries, small island developing states, and more recently also the private sector and civil society, the CTO aims to become a trusted partner for sustainable development for all through ICTs. More information about us here