UN Report On Innovative Tech To Achieve SDGs Highlights Role Of E-Commerce, Big Data13/07/2017 by Peter Kenny for Intellectual Property Watch Leave a CommentShare this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)IP-Watch is a non-profit independent news service and depends on subscriptions. To access all of our content, please subscribe now. You may also offer additional support with your subscription, or donate.Access to artificial intelligence, big data, FinTech, eHealth, and digital connectivity are increasingly providing individuals around the world with access to vital resources such as employment opportunities, online banking and healthcare, according to a United Nations report released today. Leaders of 29 international and United Nations organisations contributed to a report published on 13 July in Geneva which also touches on areas such as e-commerce and data ownership.The press release and report are available here.That is why UN leaders are increasingly looking to ICTs to fast-forward efforts to achieve all 17 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the year 2030, noted Nadia Isler, head of the SDG Lab in Geneva.Nadia Isler“The report stresses that everyone has access to those tools,” said Isler. “More than half of the population still does not have access to the internet and this a key element in ensuring that we have an equitable lens in ensuring the achievement of the SDGs.”The launch of the publication coincides with the meeting of the UN High-Level Political Forum (HLPF), taking place in New York from 10-19 July, which is the voluntary review process of the 2030 Agenda, including the SDGs.Philippa Biggs, senior policy analyst for the UN International Telecommunication Union, who spoke at the press conference, told Intellectual Property Watch the World Trade Organization “wrote about the need to update trade for e-commerce and goods in digital trade and services.”Philippa BiggsWTO Director General Roberto Azevêdo wrote in the report (p. 59): “ICTs have enabled the rapid growth of ecommerce. Despite the continued slow pace of global trade growth, e-commerce has increased steadily, supported by increasingly fast and efficient technologies which help to lower barriers to trade for both businesses and consumers.”He said current estimates show that e-commerce in goods and services was worth US$22.1 trillion in 2015, a 38 percent increase since 2013.The adoption of e-commerce has in turn helped businesses overcome some of the traditional obstacles to international trade in reducing the trade costs associated with physical distance.E-commerce allows a larger number of businesses, including small businesses and those in remote areas, to access the global marketplace, reach a broader network of buyers and to participate in global value chains.“While connectivity and ICT access are necessary conditions, they are not sufficient for people to automatically benefit from the greater opportunities offered by online trade,” said the WTO chief.“A range of other economic and regulatory barriers can still hinder the broader uptake of e-commerce,” but he noted that no one agency can deal with them. WTO is not a member of the UN.Sally BurnheimSally Burnheim, chief, Advocacy and Innovative Partnerships for UNICEF, the UN agency dealing with children’s rights, said ICTs offer unprecedented opportunities for the advancement of children, even with vulnerable children, in education.She mentioned Sudan, where she once worked, where 1.8 million children lack access to primary education, but noted that children can learn primary mathematics through playing games with solar-powered tablet computers.Used by RefugeesThese can be used by refugees and children using them attain almost as high scores in mathematics as those in regular classes.Tablets are also being sent to education centres for use by children on the move in Greece who are estimated to have missed two and a half years of education on average.Burnheim noted that the use of mobile phones have reunited children, can help to track education systems and even make it easier to register babies at birth.She cautioned, however, “ICTs are not a solution in themselves – they are a tool and there are many challenges, lack of access and technology being one of the biggest. There is also a pressing need to ensure children are protected online and can protect themselves online.”Barriers to ICTs though prevent educators getting access to children and eradicating poverty among them.Thomas Lapnet-Moustapha, a World Health Organization (WHO) director in Brazzaville, spoke by phone at the press conference on the increasing use of ICTs in the health sector in developing nations.“ICTs can help with managing and exchanging information relating to health,” he said, citing the use of mobile phones to monitor diseases such as cervical cancer and diabetes in places such as Sierra Leone and Zambia.ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao said, “As the UN’s specialized agency for ICTs, ITU has a crucial and unique role to play in the achievement of SDG9 – and in connecting the world’s 3.9 billion unconnected.” He added, “ICTs must be leveraged to advance achievement of all 17 of the SDGs.” Image Credits: Peter KennyShare this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)RelatedPeter Kenny may be reached at email@example.com."UN Report On Innovative Tech To Achieve SDGs Highlights Role Of E-Commerce, Big Data" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.