- DCO hosted official sideline event to discuss cooperation on an inclusive digital economy
- Secretary-General Deemah AlYahya held bilateral meetings with ministers, development agencies and private sector leaders
New York, USA: The Digital Cooperation Organization (DCO) participated in the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York last week, as part of its mission to foster collaboration among nations around the digital economy and to enable digital prosperity for all. The delegation from the DCO, which was led by DCO Secretary-General Deemah AlYahya, joined various bilateral meetings and events around the UNGA.
As part of the UNGA, the DCO hosted a high-level event in New York, for DCO member states, observers, partners and potential partners. Dignitaries attending the DCO event included DCO Member State representatives; H.E. Ahmad Hanandeh, Minister of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship, Jordan;, Maria-Francesca Spatolisano, Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs, Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA); Jonathan H. Adashek, Chief Communications Officer and Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications, IBM; and high ranking officials from several UN agencies.
Deemah AlYahya, Secretary-General of the DCO, said that as an international, multilateral, organization representing eleven member nations on three continents, the United Nations General Assembly is the ideal platform to pursue the DCO’s mission.
“Driving economic growth, eliminating gender inequality, and promoting sustainability are global economic challenges outlined by the UN Sustainable Development Goals. These global challenges can only be addressed by multilateral cooperation, in areas such as innovation and emerging technologies and more importantly in developing innovation friendly regulatory frameworks,” AlYahya said.
“Addressing the economic and social challenges we face today can only be achieved through international collaboration among government, private sector, NGOs and others, especially given the borderless nature of the digital economy. DCO presents a platform for multilateral, multi-stakeholder collaboration that allows for accelerating a vibrant, sustainable and, more importantly, inclusive digital economy. The United Nations own objectives are shared by the DCO, as such we are looking forward to exploring how the DCO can support the UN in areas such as the Global Digital Compact, and in creating new relationships for the DCO as the only global organization that is solely focused on multilateral action to create a fair and prosperous digital future,” she added.
The DCO roundtable event, an official sideline event to the UNGA, brought together DCO member states and observer partners, UN representatives and other stakeholders to discuss cooperation for building an inclusive digital economy. The findings of the roundtable are intended to contribute to the UN Global Digital Compact, a work-in-progress agreement that is expected to outline shared principles for an open, free and secure digital future for all, which is due to be finalized in 2023.
The DCO is also keen to support the Office of the UN Secretary General’s Envoy on Technology, and the Secretary-General’s Roadmap for Digital Cooperation, which also closely aligns with the DCO’s objectives. To further these objectives, Deema AlYahya met with Dr. Amandeep Singh Gill, the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Technology, and Maria-Francesca Spatolisano, Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA).
Throughout the course of the United Nations visit, the Secretary-General held a number of bilateral meetings with ministers and government dignitaries, heads of development agencies and NGOs, and private sector leaders, to explore mutual interests and potential areas for collaboration. The Secretary-General met with ministers including H.E. Nele Leosk, Ambassador-at-Large for Digital Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia; H.E Paula Ingabire, Minister of Information Communications Technology and Innovation, Rwanda; H.E. Dr. Abul Kalam Abdul Momen, Minister of Foreign Affairs, People’s Republic of Bangladesh; Hon. Kyriacos Kokkinos, Deputy Minister to the President for Research, Innovation and Digital Policy, Republic of Cyprus; H.E. Mohammed Thamer Al-Kaabi, Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications, Kingdom of Bahrain; H.E. Ivan John Uy, Secretary of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), Republic of the Philippines; H.E. Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan; and H.E. Amb. Hissein Ibrahim Taha, Secretary General of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
Secretary-General AlYahya held several meetings with experts from the Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL) at the United Nations Foundation, including Kathleen McGowan, Senior Director, Policy and Advocacy; Priya Jaisinghani, Managing Director, and Chrissy Martin Meier, Director, Charter for Digital Public Goods. AlYahya also met Keith Strier, Vice President Worldwide AI Initiatives, NVIDIA Corporation, and Amir A. Dossal, Founder and President, Global Partnerships Forum.
Deemah AlYahya said: “The DCO has been rapidly expanding its ecosystem in recent months, including the announcement of our first European member state, Cyprus. As we extend the DCO, we are also keen to build innovative collaboration with existing bodies that share the same objectives as us, and we are in strong alignment with the UN’s vision of forming a global compact and with the work being done by the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Technology. The DCO intends to actively contribute to the global compact, and through our participation in the UNGA and our own forums, we intend to engage with our stakeholders to develop a comprehensive formal input to this valuable initiative.”
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The DCO is a global multilateral organization founded in November 2020 that aims to enable digital prosperity for all by accelerating the inclusive growth of the digital economy. The DCO brings together the Ministries of Communications and IT of 11 nations – Bahrain, Cyprus, Djibouti, Kuwait, Morocco, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Jordan, Rwanda and Saudi Arabia – that collectively represent nearly $2 trillion in GDP and a market of nearly 600 million people, more than 70% of whom are under the age of 35.
The DCO is focused on empowering youth, women and entrepreneurs, leveraging the accelerative power of the digital economy and leapfrogging with innovation to drive economic growth and increase social prosperity. Through cooperation, dialogue and the creation of mutually advantageous cross-border legislation, we seek to establish within our member nations the optimal infrastructure and policies for the rapid creation of inclusive and equitable digital economies within which all people, businesses and societies can innovate and thrive.
In pursuit of our members’ common interests - for example, in the areas of digital skills training, data protection, intellectual copyright, regulation, taxation and entrepreneurship - DCO works collaboratively with governments, the private sector, international organizations, NGOs and civil society to enable more inclusive digital transformation and the growth of digital industries.
The DCO’s key initiatives include programs to enhance cross-border data flows, promote market expansion for SMEs, empower digital entrepreneurs and advance digital inclusion among women and youth and other underrepresented populations.