|Statement by Counsellor LIU Jun on "Information and Communications Technologies for Development" at the Second Committee of the 71st Session of the General Assembly|
At the outset, I wish to congratulate you on your election as the Chairman of the Second Committee. China supports Thailand in its statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China and wishes to express its deepest condolences for the passing away of the King of Thailand. We welcome the progress report submitted by the Secretary General under this agenda item (A/71/67-E/2016/51).
Today’s world is witnessing constant advances in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and accelerated progress in building an information society featuring information technologies, networks and intelligence systems. Mobile broadband internet, cloud computing, the Internet of Things (IoT), big data and other new technologies and services greatly facilitate the life and productive activities of Mankind, enhancing our ability to understand and transform the world and causing fundamental changes to our modes of production and ways of life. They have also created enormous economic and social benefits and facilitated sustainable economic and social development. In this connection, I would like to make the following observations and proposals.
First, give full play to the role of ICT in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We need to deepen our understanding of the importance of ICT in promoting sustainable economic and social development of the world. In particular, at national, regional and global levels, we need to ensure that ICT be utilized to promote the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the achievement of the 17 SDGs adopted at the UN Development Summit last year. This is an important global consensus. Therefore, we support the effort of the Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) and Technology Facilitation Mechanism (TFM) to enhance scientific innovation with ICT as the core and give full play to the role of ICT in achieving the SDGs.
Second, intensify efforts to bridge the digital divide. While great progress has been made by the international community in building an information society, there still exists a digital divide between developing and developed countries as well as between different regions within a country. We must work hard at the global level to bridge the digital divide and create digital opportunities open to all by promoting the spread of ICT, so that all countries can have equal access to development opportunities created by ICT and other scientific innovations. The international community should give priority to the need of developing countries to narrow the digital divide by helping them improve their ICT infrastructure and providing ICT related training to enhance their capacity building, thus making practical contributions to the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.
Third, improve the global development partnership. To ensure that ICT really contribute to sustainable development, it is necessary to strengthen North-South and South-South cooperation, improve the global development partnership, and engage in win-win cooperation. Energetic efforts are needed to support the ICT capacity building of developing countries, especially in the areas of human resources development and institutional capacity building. We should work hard to bridge the digital divide by multiple means such as training, exchange of experience, knowledge transfer and technical assistance. This is the only way to ensure that peoples of all countries share the benefits of the latest ICT and Internet technologies, and that global sustainable economic and social development be advanced.
China is implementing an innovation-driven development strategy. In July this year, China released the “Outline of National Informatization Development Strategy” as part of its efforts to actively adapt to the new normal of its economic development, deepen reform and opening-up, promote the transformation and upgrading of its economic structure, and increase and strengthen new drivers for economic growth. We are making vigorous efforts to develop ICT and push for synchronized development of new industrialization, informatization, urbanization and agricultural modernization. We will advance our all-round modernization through informatization, with a view to building China into a cyber power.
China’s ICT infrastructure is steadily improving. The total number of fixed broadband users has reached 274 million and that of mobile phone users 1.297 billion, of which 820 million are 3G/4G mobile broadband users. We have developed plans to promote the Internet as a means to alleviate poverty and bridge the urban-rural digital divide. ICT is increasingly used in all areas of our economic and social development, playing an ever important role in our coordinated economic and social development. In this respect, China is willing to share with all other countries its experience in utilizing ICT for development. In November this year, China will host the Third World Internet Conference, to which all are invited and welcome.
China stands ready to work together with other member states to promote innovation-driven development and accelerate the building of a “people-centered, inclusive and development-oriented information society” and make our due contribution to the implementation of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.