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June 24, 2024

UNESCAP pushes for digital inclusion amid rising digital transformation

The regional forum further wants to bolster digital inclusion in Southeast Asia, including the Philippines.

The UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) examined how digital transformation has brought several benefits and opportunities for communities, governments, and businesses, but also has further increased the digital divide within countries in Southeast Asia. Digital transformation opened new development gaps and reinforced a vicious cycle of socio-economic inequalities. At a forum presided by the UN Committee on Information and Communications Technology, Science, Technology, and Innovation on 30 August 2022, country representatives discussed rapid, widespread adoption of digital technology, as driven largely by the COVID-19 pandemic, and its economic ramifications. The UN, in particular, said that: (i) there should be focus on the digital divide as the new face of inequality; (ii) digital inclusion must be at the heart of digital transformation; and (iii) accompanying digital policies and regulations should be implemented.