New York - At the initiative of five Members States of the Digital Cooperation Organization - Bahrain, Cyprus, Pakistan, Rwanda and Saudi Arabia, the 'UN Group of Friends for Digital Cooperation' was launched at the United Nations headquarters in New York to enable global digital cooperation and drive advocacy for the inclusive and sustainable growth of the digital economy, enabling prosperity and social inclusion for all globally.

Over the past two decades, digital technologies have transformed societies, connecting billions of people, businesses, and governments. While the digital economy accounts for 15 percent of global GDP, a significant portion of the global population still lacks access to the internet. In today's world, digital enablers are essential for achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. However, the digital divide persists, hindering economic growth and sustainable development. Recognizing the urgent need for global digital cooperation, the Digital Cooperation Organization is supporting this initiative and the Member States to launch the ‘Group of Friends for Digital Cooperation’.

As a platform for driving tangible progress, the 'UN Group of Friends for Digital Cooperation' is poised to initiate a series of impactful activities. These encompass advocating at the UN level for the prioritization and adoption of global policies and strategies that foster inclusive digital cooperation, thereby promoting sustainable growth in the digital economy. Additionally, the Group will serve as a facilitator, establishing a cooperative platform that enables knowledge exchange among Member States and facilitates the sharing of best practices in the digital economy.

The ‘UN Group of Friends for Digital Cooperation’ will support the collective efforts to bolster the digital economy and advance the United Nations SDGs. Moreover, the Group will endeavor to enhance the coordination of relevant initiatives, projects, and activities, that spur the development of the digital economy on a global scale.

“The UN Group of Friends for Digital Cooperation is a platform to enhance digital cooperation in order to achieve the SDGs. In its role as an information provider, advocator, advisor and facilitator, the Digital Cooperation Organization will serve as a catalyst for this Group aiming to bridge the digital divide and put the SDGs back on track through global multistakeholder digital cooperation,” said Deemah AlYahya, the Secretary-General of the Digital Cooperation Organization.

"Cyprus is pleased to join the Group of Friends for Digital Cooperation, a pioneering initiative that aligns with our commitment to fostering digital sustainability and inclusivity. Global cooperation is vital in our evolving digital landscape. Together, we aim to contribute to a brighter digital future for all," commented Ms. Thessalia Shambou, Minister Plenipotentiary, Political Director, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus.

Participation in the Group is open to UN Member States and relevant partners. As a UN General Assembly Observer, the Digital Cooperation Organization secretariat will play a central role in bringing Member States together to harness the power of cooperation to accelerate the achievement of the SDGs.

The launch of the ‘UN Group of Friends for Digital Cooperation’ underscores the dedication of the Digital Cooperation Organization and its Member States to creating a more inclusive and sustainable digital economy. As digital technologies continue to shape our world, this initiative signals a vital step towards enhancing digital cooperation.

About the Digital Cooperation Organization (DCO)

The Digital Cooperation Organization is the world's first standalone international intergovernmental organization focusing on the acceleration of the growth of an inclusive and sustainable digital economy. It 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 Information Technology of its Member States, and 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 and dialogue, we drive the facilitation of mutually advantageous cross-border legislation. The DCO seeks to establish within its Member States 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. The DCO’s vision is to work towards a world in which every nation, business and person has a fair opportunity to prosper in the digital economy.

In pursuit of the Member States’ common interests, the 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 the youth, and other underrepresented populations.

More information about the DCO can be found at

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