SINGAPORE – 09 JUN 2023
Recognising the importance of ensuring that all countries are able to participate in and benefit from the growth of the global digital economy, Singapore is pledging S$10 million to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Partner2Connect (P2C) Digital Coalition to support the international community in harnessing the full potential of digital technologies in line with the United Nation’s (UN) Sustainable Development Goals.
ITU, the UN specialised agency for Information and Communication Technologies, launched the P2C Digital Coalition in September 2021 to foster meaningful connectivity and digital transformation globally. This multi-stakeholder alliance promotes a partnership-based approach to mobilise the resources needed to achieve universal connectivity by 2030. ITU P2C has received over 700 pledges from government and private entities amounting to over US$30billion to date, but more can still be done to spur global digitalisation.
The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA), are committed to helping close the global digital divide and strengthening the digital capabilities of fellow ITU member states. S$10 million in funding and resources will be committed to providing capacity building programmes to 2400 regional and global officials over a four-year period1:
IMDA, through its Digital Forum of Small States (FOSS)2 initiatives, will help develop the technical capabilities of small states, and support their efforts to architect a sustainable and inclusive digital future.
IMDA is currently hosting the inaugural Digital FOSS Fellowship programme in Singapore from 5 to 9 June 2023, in conjunction with the Asia Tech x Singapore 2023 (ATxSG) Summit. Digital FOSS Fellows from 10 countries3 have been sharing their experiences, challenges and aspirations in building a digital future for small states.
During the programme, the Fellows called on Minister for Communications and Information Mrs Josephine Teo, Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, and Ambassador-at-Large Prof Tommy Koh, and will also be hosted to lunch by Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information Dr Janil Puthucheary. The Fellows also engaged distinguished speakers and guests at ATxSG 2023 Summit, and participated in a closed-door Roundtable to discuss how small states can work together to facilitate trusted cross border data flows in the digital economy. Images from the various engagements are at Annex A (935.31KB).
MFA, through the Singapore Cooperation Programme, will offer courses on digitalisation, such as on digital economy, artificial intelligence, data and cybersecurity. These will be extended to officials involved in policy making and regulation in developing and ASEAN countries to deepen their understanding of digital issues and strengthen their digital capabilities for national policy formulation.
CSA, through the ASEAN-Singapore Cybersecurity Centre of Excellence, will conduct technical and Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERT)-related cyber capacity building programmes for senior cyber officials in ASEAN and the wider international community.
Singapore’s pledge was announced by the Chief Executive of IMDA, Mr Lew Chuen Hong, at a meeting to engage the inaugural Digital FOSS Fellows yesterday (Thursday, 8 June 2023).
Building a shared digital future is the responsibility of all nations, large and small, Singapore is committed to playing our part to help the international community close the digital divide and ensure that the benefits of our global digital commons can be enjoyed by all.
Lew Chuen Hong
IMDA Chief Executive
“Digital will be key to putting the Sustainable Development Goals back on track,” said ITU Secretary-General Doreen Bogdan-Martin. “I applaud Singapore for their timely P2C pledge, highlighting the importance of digital institutional capacity and cross-country collaboration in achieving universal connectivity and sustainable digital transformation in line with the SDGs.”