Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today stressed the need for a “strong global partnership” on digital cooperation for the future generation to achieve the common goals.
“We look forward to forging a strong global partnership on digital cooperation to achieve our common goals,” she told a high-level virtual event on the sidelines of the 75th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) at the UN headquarters in New York, local media reported.
While delivering her pre-recorded statement at the event titled “Digital Cooperation: Action Today for Future Generations”, the PM mentioned that the Covid-19 pandemic has revealed the strength of digital services and also exposed the stark digital divide.
“Around half of the world’s population does not have access to basic internet. We must close this gap,” she said.
The premier said in Bangladesh, the government has envisioned a “Digital Bangladesh” by 2021, and witnessed a boom in the internet due to its push for digitalization.
“The total number of internet users stood at 103.48 million. Our digitalization has afforded our people huge opportunities to become change-makers,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said the government’s focus on digital connectivity has facilitated economic development and catalyzed social changes, including women’s empowerment. “It’s helping SDGs implementation and fighting against Covid-19,” she said.
“As we set to transform Bangladesh into an advanced economy by 2041, we wish to place our younger generation at the center of this transformative journey,” she continued.
In this connection, the premier pledged to establish digital academies and centres of excellence in every secondary school of the country by 2030 considering emerging job markets led by the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewde, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore, Co-founder of Alibaba Group and also Co-Chair of the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation Jack Ma, Founder and Chairman of Bharti Enterprises Sunil Bharti Mittal, Inventor of World Wide Web (www) Tim Berners-Lee, CEO of XPRIZE Foundation Anousheh Ansari, Rwandan ICT and Innovation Minister Paula Ingabire on behalf of Rwanda President Paul Kagame, UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, among others, spoke at the event.
The premier joined the event at the invitation of Henrietta Fore, Executive Director, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and Houlin Zhao, Secretary General, International Telecommunication Union (ITU).