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United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

United Nations International Telecommunication Union (ITU)

Q1. How have the COVID-19 pandemic and the current food, energy and financing crises changed the priorities of your organization? 

Organizational priorities changed after COVID-19 given the greater demand for and focus on digitization and digital transformation. ITU Membership has been more focused on delivering services to remote and rural areas and this has also led the industry to focus more on supporting that.

ITU’s standardization sector had been active in the standardization terrain for health, energy, finance prior to the pandemic. During the pandemic, ITU’s standardization work was accelerated in certain domains including health. To enable continuity of our standards activities, all ITU-T Study Groups, Focus Groups and Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG) meetings were held online. Some examples of the activities ITU initiated during the pandemic are:


Recognizing COVID-19 as a challenge, the ITU/WHO Focus Group on Artificial Intelligence for Health (FG-AI4H) established an ad-hoc group on “Digital Technologies for COVID Health Emergency (AHG-DT4HE)” led by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) to collect effective ways and cases of how AI and other digital technologies can be leveraged to combat COVID-19, including phases relating to prevention and preparedness, outbreak early detection, surveillance and response, recovery, rehabilitation, mitigation, etc.


ITU-T Study Group 20 on “Internet of things (IoT) and smart cities and communities (SC&C)” established the Focus Group on "Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) for Digital Agriculture" (FG-AI4A), in collaboration with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. The FG-AI4A is exploring how AI and IoT and other emerging technologies can be leveraged to facilitate data collection, modelling, and effective communication for agricultural production processes, with the aim of boosting agricultural productivity and ensuring sustainable food production.


ITU-T Study Group 5 on “EMF, environment, climate action, sustainable digitalization, and circular economy” has the mandate to develop standards on ICTs related to the environment, energy efficiency, clean energy and sustainable digitalization for climate actions. ITU-T Study Group 5 is currently developing several standards on a variety of energy efficiency related topic such as energy consumption of crypto currency, smart energy solutions for the manufacturing industry, energy saving design for data centres and multi-dimensional network energy efficiency metrics, to name a few.


In the financial domain, ITU is active through the Financial Inclusion Global Initiative (FIGI), in close collaboration with the World Bank, and the Bank for International Settlements, supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. FIGI organized an annual Symposium, which served as a platform for promoting dialogue among relevant stakeholders in the financial sector including government authorities, financial service providers, telecom operators, and academia, to share experiences and perspectives on scaling up digital financial services.

To further expand on the importance of digital currency in the post-COVID era, the Digital Currency Global Initiative (DCGI) was established by ITU in close collaboration with Stanford University. One of the key objectives of this initiative is to identify areas for standardization to enable implementation of digital currency.

ITU has a new Resolution on the “Role of telecommunications /information and communication technologies in mitigating global pandemics”, which was adopted at the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference in October 2022. In accordance with this Resolution, ITU will continue its efforts, in partnership with WHO and other agencies and organizations to strengthen the resilience of telecommunication/ICT networks to meet the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and increase pandemic preparedness and response.

Q2. How has your organization supported Member States to accelerate their recovery from COVID-19 and the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda? How has your organization cooperated with other UN system organizations in these efforts to achieve coherence and synergies?

ITU has been able to support Member States through the digital transformation wheel that the ITU has developed using available indicators both within ITU and the UN system. Such an approach has enabled our membership to focus on areas of improvement and develop better plans towards achieving digital transformation and inclusion across different industry vertices.

The ITU Smart Islands programme adopts an innovative approach to deliver connectivity and digital services to unconnected and underserved communities. It aims to transform rural and coastal communities, improving their livelihood and well-being by connecting them to a range of digitally enabled services. It is designed to address the socio-economic challenges faced by communities through digital transformation at community level with emphasis on vulnerable populations (women, youth, and persons with disabilities) to leave no one behind. It has four pillars of (i) improving broadband connectivity (ii) making broadband affordable (iii) enhancing digital skills and (iv) providing digital services, to impact people's lives based on their local priorities.

Smart Villages and Smart Islands adopt a whole-of-government approach at community level strategically aligning the resources of all stakeholders (government, industry, development agencies, civil society, academia among others), and holistic response to SDG-related needs. It also enhances the ability of governments and communities to augment COVID recovery efforts towards a post COVID digital future, where no one is left behind. Following the ongoing pilot implementations in Niger (Smart Village) and Vanuatu (Smart Islands), a Smart Village project is currently operational in Pakistan. ITU has further received expressions of interest from Fiji, Kiribati, the Maldives, Republic of Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.

To establish and promote this new holistic and inclusive approach, ITU is working with UN agencies (UNCDF, FAO, UNESCO, UNICEF, ILO, UNOPS, UNODC, UNOHCHR), the Joint SDG Fund, other partners (Asian Development Bank, Government of Australia - DITRDCA), national governments, the private sector (Huawei) and other stakeholders while continuing to explore partnerships for financing with development partners, other private sector, and other international and national agencies.

Two Joint SDG Fund programmes that have digital policies, capacity building and Smart Islands components have also been developed together with UN agencies in Pacific Islands countries. See details below.

Full list of ITU high-impact initiatives can be found here.

Please highlight up to three high-impact initiatives, especially those that address interlinkages among the SDGs and involves interagency collaboration. Concrete initiatives might be selected to be spotlighted during relevant intergovernmental meetings.

Initiative United for Smart Sustainable Cities (U4SSC) – Thematic Group on “Lessons Learned From Building Urban Economic Resilience at City Level During and After COVID-19”
Partners ITU, UNECE, UN-HABITAT, Convention on Biological Diversity, ECLAC, FAO, UNDP, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, UNESCO, UNEP, UNEP Finance Initiative, UNFCCC, UNIDO, UN Office for Partnerships, UNU-EGOV, UN-Women, WMO, UNWTO.
Relevant SDGs SDG3, SDG9, SDG11, SDG12, SDG17
Member States benefiting from the initiative All 193 Member States of ITU
Description United for Smart Sustainable Cities (U4SSC) is an open initiative, supported by 18 United Nations agencies and programmes. It serves as a global platform for discussions on facilitating smart city transitions worldwide. One of the Thematic Groups under the U4SSC umbrella tackles the topic of economic resilience after COVID-19. This Thematic Group explores how emerging technologies in the urban realm can be used to tackle the pandemic while strengthening urban resilience capacity to minimize economic risks to society in the event of similar crises in the future.


Initiative World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)
Partners ITU, UNDP, UNCTAD, UNDP, FAO, ILO, ITC, UNDESA, UNEP, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNODC, UPU, UN Women, UN Tech Bank for LDCs, UNU, WFP, WHO, WIPO, WMO, UN Regional Commissions as well as various stakeholders (Governments, Civil Societies, Private Sectors, Academia, Technical Organizations, etc,)
Relevant SDGs All SDGs
Member States benefiting from the initiative All 193 ITU Member States of ITU and stakeholders globally
Description WSIS is a UN process, which provides a global framework for harnessing the tremendous power of ICTs through the holding of the annual WSIS Forum and its special initiatives, the WSIS Stocktaking, and the WSIS Prizes. The WSIS Forum is the world’s largest annual gathering of the Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) for Development community and is co-organized by ITU, UNESCO, UNDP, and UNCTAD, in close collaboration with all WSIS Action Lines facilitators and other UN organizations. The Forum is a global UN multi-stakeholder platform facilitating the implementation of the WSIS Action Lines for advancing the SDGs.
Initiative Advancing the SDGs by Improving livelihoods and resilience via economic diversification and digital transformation
Relevant SDGs 5.b; 8.2; 8.3; 8.5; 8.8; 9.2; 9.3; 9.5 (b); 9.c; 10.2; 10.3; and 14.7
Member States benefiting from the initiative Fiji, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu, and Tuvalu
Description The Pacific region averages one natural disaster per year, hindering economic growth and derailing countries' progress toward the SDGs. In addition, their economies rely heavily on tourism and agricultural exports which have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and other natural disasters, leaving many workers unemployed or working fewer hours. This JP will support SDG acceleration by building community resilience and fostering economic diversification in Fiji, the Soloman Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. The JP will combine transformational upstream policy and regulatory interventions with downstream catalytic capacity-building programmes to strengthen resilience of communities through economic diversification in key sectors by creating an enabling environment for communities to adapt in the digital era.

Q3. Has your organization published or is it planning to publish any analytical work or guidance note or toolkits to guide and support recovery efforts from COVID-19 while advancing full implementation of SDGs at national, regional and global levels? 

Two months into global lockdowns, ITU set-up the Global Network Resiliency Platform (#REG4COVID) to assist the ICT community - regulators, policy makers and other interested stakeholders – to respond quickly to ICT and connectivity challenges by providing a space to quickly share information, view what initiatives and measures were introduced around the world designed to help ensure communities remain connected, during the COVID-19 crisis. Responses were enhanced with additional research by the ITU to identify key insights from exceptional temporary regulatory measures taken during the crisis' “emergency” phase (April – September 2020). In a second phase, ITU mobilized action around the call to “build back better”, and provided key insights on the main issues that countries must tackle to prepare the recovery and recommended regulatory actions. The insights and recommendations are based on the vast data collected through #REG4COVID on emergency measures and first-hand experiences of stakeholders. There was an overwhelming response with over 500 initiatives contributed to REG4COVID which was of significant help to policymakers and regulators globally.

The ITU has published “Connect2Recover: A methodology for identifying connectivity gaps and strengthening resilience in the new normal”. This publication provides a methodology for countries to implement in recovering from COVID-19 through data collection, assessment of resilience and review of policies and regulation. In addition, the ITU’s Connect2Recover initiative launched a research competition to promote research on digital resiliency and digital inclusion to accelerate COVID-19 recovery. As a result of the research competition, 15 research proposals were selected, and were developed into research reports. These research reports focus on digital inclusion (in the areas of healthcare, education, job creation, affecting vulnerable people) and on the importance of digital connectivity and resilience and lessons learnt during COVID-19.

Full list of ITU high impact resources can be found here.

Please select up to three high-impact resources to highlight, especially those that address interlinkages among the SDGs. Selected resources will be highlighted to inform relevant intergovernmental meetings.

Resource Connect2Recover: A methodology for identifying connectivity gaps and strengthening resilience in the new normal
Publishing entity/entities ITU
Relevant SDGs SDG 3 Good health and well-being, SDG 4: quality education, SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth, SDG 9 Industry innovation and infrastructure, SDG 10 reduced inequalities
Target audience Member States, Sector Members, Academia, general public
Description The Connect2Recover initiative supports countries in their efforts to identify gaps and bottlenecks for the utilization of broadband networks and digital technologies to respond to and mitigate the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes recovery following the pandemic, readiness for the “new normal”, and preparedness for any future pandemics. This report includes several key findings regarding data sources, resilience, and policy and regulations. It also details key elements common to successful national broadband plans, which are instrumental to helping close the digital divide, collect trustworthy sources of data to carry out gap analysis, increase network redundancy and resiliency, and prepare to move quickly should future disasters occur. Furthermore, it can be applied to other ITU “build back better” initiatives such as those in support of education, health care, and job creation.
Language English


Resource Toolkit on Digital Transformation for People-Oriented Cities and Communities
Publishing entity/entities
ITU in partnership with UNDESA, UNIDO, UNECE, UN-HABITAT, WMO, UNDP, International Water Resources Association, UNU-EGOV, Copenhagen Centre on Energy Efficiency, UNEP-DTU, United for Efficiency
Relevant SDGs
SDG11, SDG9, SDG2, SDG13, SDG7, SDG4, SDG12, SDG17
Target audience
All stakeholders interested in driving digital transformation across all domains within the urban ecosystem
Description This Toolkit provides resources to facilitate strategizing and planning the digital transformation of cities and communities to promote sustainable, inclusive, resilient and improved quality of life for residents in cities and communities. These resources include international standards and guidance, the latest research and projections, and cutting-edge reports on a variety of timely topics relevant to the digital transformation of cities and communities. The Toolkit is structured in such a way that it can benefit cities and communities, as well as regions and countries regardless of their level of smart or digital development, or their geographical or economic status. Currently, the Toolkit comprises of different modules covering topics related to digital transformation strategy, data processing and management, digital inclusion, accessibility, reducing environmental impact, smart energy management, smart water management, emergency management, smart governance and smart manufacturing.


Resource The Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response - ICT Case Repository
Publishing entity/entities
WSIS/ITU and stakeholders
Relevant SDGs All SDGs
Target audience Various multi-stakeholders (Government, Private Sector, Civil Society, Academia, Technical Organizations, etc.)
Description As part of the WSIS Stocktaking efforts to promote the innovative use of ICTs, the Coronavirus Response - ICT Case Repository collected more than 500 projects and activities from stakeholders dedicated to responding to the COVID-19 crisis. The WSIS Stocktaking continues to collect ICT projects on a year-around basis, and we invite all stakeholders to continue contributing to this important repository.
Language English

Q4. How has your organization engaged with stakeholder groups to support SDG implementation and COVID-19 recovery at national, regional and global levels? Please provide main highlights, including any lessons learned. For example, what has worked particularly well as a model for effective stakeholder engagement?

The ITU’s flagship Connect2Recover initiative started in September 2020 with two founding partners, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Japan and the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre, Saudi Arabia. Connect2Recover has now expanded to five Member States (which includes the two founding partners, and the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications, Australia, Ministry of Transport and Communications, Lithuania, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Czech Republic. There are also two Sector Members, Huawei and Vodafone. The scope of the work of Connect2Recover has increased to 44 projects in six regions and assisted beneficiary countries to strengthen resilient networks and connectivity. The partners have seen the impact of the work and are providing additional contributions to extend the work of Connect2Recover.

When the pandemic began to spread internationally in 2020, our members and partners lost no time devising our response. For example , the ITU used various global platforms to convey the urgent call for action. For example, ITU joined the various meetings of the G20 ICT, Health and Finance Ministers for their meetings on COVID-19, to stress the importance of connecting the unconnected and the need for greater emphasis on ICT infrastructure investments.

ITU launched the REG4COVID platform to help countries and their regulatory communities respond to the crisis quickly by sharing best practices and solutions in ICT and connectivity during the pandemic.

ITU also launched Emergency Communications Guidelines to help policy makers formulate effective telecom responses in the wake of emergencies and disasters.

ITU provided the AI for Good platform to engage AI experts globally to share their ideas on AI for health and to formulate concrete actions leveraging AI.

The Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development quickly convened online to develop an Agenda for Action for Faster and Better Recovery, with Commissioners and their organizations working together to compile and disseminate a repository of tangible actions based on the three pillars of resilient connectivity, affordable access, and safe use of online services for informed and educated societies.

While addressing the immediate needs during COVID-19, the Joint Digital Development Action Plan by the ITU/GSMA/World Bank/WEF, called for a “new urgency” to address the digital inclusion agenda of governments worldwide. The Call for Action focused on immediate actions to promote network resilience as well as to ensure access and affordability of digital services.

Within the framework of the UN75 Global Governance Forum, ITU convened the Partnership Dialogue for Connectivity, where ITU agreed concrete actions to Accelerate Digital Connectivity in the Wake of COVID-19.

The ITU also held joint webinars with the office of the UN Under Secretary-General and Special Advisor to the Secretary-General on Digital Cooperation to build a community to share actionable ideas, initiatives and solutions, with a view to accelerating discussions within the Expert Roundtables following-up on the recommendations of the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation.

ITU joined the Global Education Coalition led by UNESCO to ensure learning never stops for students and youth across the planet affected by school and university closures.

ITU built on existing partnerships like work with the International Labor Organization on digital skills for youth, starting with young people in Africa.

Giga (a collaboration initiative of ITU and UNICEF, and other willing partners) works with over 10 countries to connect over 86,000 schools and more than 25.8M students and teachers.

ITU joined WHO, UNICEF, and global operators to deliver health messaging via mobile phones to billions still lacking an Internet connection.

If your organization has established multi-stakeholder partnership(s) in this regard, please describe them (name, partners involved, relevant SDGs, Member States benefiting from the partnership) and provide links to relevant websites for more information.

Partnership Joint Coordination Activity on Digital COVID-19 Certificates (JCA-DCC)
Relevant SDGs
Member States benefiting from the initiative
All 193 ITU Member States
Description JCA-DCC provides the coordination platform of the digital COVID-19 certificates (DCC) standardization work among relevant ITU-T study groups and external organizations and forums, fostering the use of compatible data architectures for sharing data, and promoting interoperability, agility and safety for users, and all relevant stakeholders involved.


Partnership AI for Road Safety
Partners ITU, together with UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety and the UN Envoy on Technology
Relevant SDGs SDG3, SDG11
Member States benefiting from the initiative All 193 ITU Member States
Description AI for Road Safety harnesses the potential of AI in enhancing the safe system approach to road safety, with the caveat that the initiative would be applicable to low- and middle- income countries, where most of the road fatalities and injuries occur. In this context, the use of AI will be explored for road safety data and regulatory frameworks, safer vehicles, road infrastructure, post-crash response.


Partnership WSIS Forum 2022
Partners ITU, UNDP, UNCTAD, UNDP, FAO, ILO, ITC, UNDESA, UNEP, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNODC, UPU, UN Women, UN Tech Bank for LDCs, UNU, WFP, WHO, WIPO, WMO, UN Regional Commissions as well as various stakeholders (Governments, Civil Societies, Private Sectors, Academia, Technical Organizations, etc,)
Relevant SDGs All SDGs
Member States benefiting from the initiative
All 193 Member States of ITU and stakeholders globally
Description The WSIS Forum 2022 was held from 15 March 2022 onwards in a virtual format and culminated in a final week from 30 May to 3 June 2022 at ITU Headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland with remote participation. The Forum welcomed more than 1,000 physical participants, with more than 30,000 remote participants. There were over 250 virtual and physical sessions, including thematic workshops, country workshops, WSIS Action Line Facilitation meetings, high-level dialogues, high-level policy sessions, knowledge cafes and open-space talks on various topics which directly linked to the WSIS Action Lines and the SDGs. The WSIS Forum organized a special track on ICTs for Well-being and Happiness in 2021 and 2022, which brought a series of workshops focusing on efforts and success stories to promote healthy lives and well-being for everyone at all ages, in the context of COVID-19 pandemic. As part of the WSIS Forum, the WSIS&SDG TalkX sessions have delved into many aspects of the global response to COVID-19. Building on the expertise of the WSIS community, this webinar and podcast series provided WSIS stakeholders with a platform to create partnerships for on-the-ground action.


Partnership Connect2Recover initiative
Partners Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Japan; King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre, Saudi Arabia; Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications, Australia; Ministry of Transport and Communications, Lithuania; Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Czech Republic; Huawei and Vodafone 
Relevant SDGs SDG 3 Good health and well-being, SDG 4: quality education, SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth, SDG 9 Industry innovation and infrastructure, SDG 10 reduced inequalities
Member States benefiting from the initiative Armenia, Kazakhstan, Haiti, Caribbean community, Grenada, Montenegro, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Arab region, Mauritania, Palestine, Syria, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Kenya, Benin, Sierra Leone, Niger, DR Congo, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Lao PDR, Philippines, Pakistan, Indonesia, Maldives, Malaysia, India, Nepal, Bhutan, and Tonga
Description The COVID-19 pandemic and devastating natural hazards caused unprecedented disruptions in countries around the world and highlighted the urgency for universal and meaningful digital connectivity. Connect2Recover is global initiative to ensure available, affordable and resilient digital infrastructure in beneficiary countries. Connect2Recover uses a “Five phase approach” to reinforce and strengthen the digital infrastructure and digital ecosystems of beneficiary countries. Connect2Recover works in six regions, with priority to Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries, and Small Island Developing States. 

Q5. In the 2019 SDG Summit declaration (GA Resolution 74/4), Member States outlined ten priority areas for accelerated action in SDG implementation. Please highlight any major integrated and innovative policies or initiatives that your organization may have adopted in these ten priority areas:

5.1 leaving no one behind

United for Smart Sustainable Cities (U4SSC) is an open platform for discussion on smart cities to ensure that all perspectives and voices are heard.

5.2 mobilizing adequate and well-directed financing

The U4SSC has a dedicated Thematic Group on “Compendium of Practices on Innovative Financing for Smart Sustainable Cities Projects”.

5.3 enhancing national implementation

The U4SSC has developed a KPI framework for strengthening city-level actions relating to smart and sustainable city transitions and providing urban stakeholders with a guidance framework on bolstering smart city action at a regional as well as national-level.

5.4 strengthening institutions for more integrated solutions

The U4SSC has developed a KPI framework for strengthening city-level actions relating to smart and sustainable city transitions and providing urban stakeholders with a guidance framework on bolstering smart city action at a regional as well as national-level.

5.5 bolstering local action

The U4SSC has developed a KPI framework for strengthening city-level actions relating to smart and sustainable city transitions and providing urban stakeholders with a guidance framework on bolstering smart city action at a regional as well as national-level.

5.6: reducing disaster risk and building resilience

The ITU/WMO/UNEP Focus Group on Artificial Intelligence for Natural Disaster Management (FG-AI4NDM) was established in December 2020, to delve into understanding how AI can support data gathering, improve data modelling and foster effective communications in the advent of a natural disaster and to mitigate them to minimize damage. 5.6: Connect2Recover initiative has carried out an assessment based on the Connect2Recover methodology to assist Haiti post-disaster (in the aftermath of earthquake and Tropical Storm Grace) to strengthen resilience in preparation for future hazards. Connect2Recover methodology was also used to implement Council Resolution 1408 on “Assistance and support to Ukraine for rebuilding their telecommunication sector”.

5.7 solving challenges through international cooperation and enhancing the global partnership

The achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 is a challenge taken head-on by the world. United Nations agencies and programmes are working in tandem to ensure that these interdependent goals are met, without leaving anyone behind. The U4SSC is one such initiative in the smart city space, which is supported by 18 United Nations entities, with the aim of facilitating exchange of knowledge on the smart city vision, such that it is also aligned with SDG targets and indicators.

5.8 harnessing science, technology and innovation with a greater focus on digital transformation for sustainable development

United for Smart Sustainable Cities (U4SSC) has developed the Report on “Accelerating city transformation using frontier technologies” which provides an array of use-cases on how technologies such as AI, IoT, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) can reshape the way in which cities deliver services to their inhabitants. Currently, U4SSC is also developing a report on AI in Cities to further explore the potential of AI in the urban ecosystem.

Q6. Following the adoption of the 2022 Ministerial Declaration, please highlight any major integrated and innovative policies or initiatives that your organization may have adopted related to the below, if applicable:

6.1 Member States encouraged "the United Nations system and all relevant actors to take advantage of emerging technologies and their applications, as appropriate, in order to maximize impact and effectiveness in data analysis and collection and stress the need to bridge the digital gap among and within countries" (Paragraph 86)

The new Resolution on “Artificial intelligence technologies and telecommunications/information and communication technologies” was adopted at the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference in October 2022 by ITU Member States. In line with this Resolution: “ITU should, within its mandate and core competencies: a) continue the work on AI related to telecommunication/ICTs, including studies, information sharing, and capacity building on AI technologies for increasing efficiency of telecommunications/ICTs; b) foster a telecommunication/ICT ecosystem for deployment of AI technologies,” Additionally, ITU Plenipotentiary Resolution 197 is dedicated to “Facilitating the Internet of Things and smart sustainable cities and communities”.

6.2 Member States specifically called upon the UN system "to work with the newly established United Nations Food Systems Coordination Hub, hosted by FAO, to support Governments to develop and strengthen SDG-based national pathways for sustainable food systems transformation" (Paragraph 128)

The Focus Group on "Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) for Digital Agriculture" (FG-AI4A) was established in collaboration with FAO to examine the digital agriculture standardization landscape, and lay the foundation for the development of best practices related to the use of AI and IoT-based technologies for agriculture.

Q7. The 2023 SDG Summit is expected to provide political leadership, guidance and recommendations for sustainable development and follow-up and review progress in the implementation of sustainable development commitments and the achievement of the 2030 Agenda, including through national and regional consultations, which will mark the beginning of a new phase of accelerated progress towards the SDGs. In the lead up to the 2023 SDG Summit, please provide your organization’s recommendations on how to overcome challenges to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the achievement of the SDGs, taking into account the thematic reviews and voluntary national reviews conducted to date.

The recommendations are as follows:

  • Promoting the adoption of U4SSC KPIs: As technologies are being increasingly leveraged to attain the targets in the SDGs, KPIs such as the ones developed by U4SSC can be a vital tool in achieving this two-fold purpose of promoting the use of technologies to deliver urban services and ensure that the targets embedded in the SDGs are simultaneously met. These KPIs are flexible and can be employed in any city in the world aiming to commence its smart city journey.
  • Promoting international standardization: ITU occupies a unique position in the United Nations system as it functions as an international standards developing organization (SDO) and also serves as the UN agency for information and communication technologies. ITU-T has 11 active Study Groups that cover a diverse range of areas including economic policies, environment, broadband and cable tv, future networks, transport, quality of service, multimedia, security and smart cities etc. Standardization is the fulcrum for promoting technology transfer and bridging the digital divide. With ITU’s unique membership model of 193 Member States and over 900 private sector and academic members, through the various Study Groups, ITU is able to produce high-quality standards steering clear of vendor-lock-in and promoting interoperability across domains.

    For those outside the current ITU Membership ecosystem, Focus Groups are an ideal vehicle for exploring the pre-standardization domain relating to any specific vertical or technology.
  • Promoting collaboration between multiple stakeholders through effective existing mechanisms of collaboration, partnership and exchange like the WSIS Forum and the WSIS Stocktaking Database


ECESA Plus Member
Year of submission: 2022