Minister: (Anusha urges consensus on global agenda for use of ICTs to achieve Sustainable Development Goals)

ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for IT, Mrs Anusha Rahman Khan, delivering her policy statement at the UN General Assembly High level meeting in New York emphasized the need for global policy consensus to maximize the utility of ICTs for achievement of the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals.

The General assembly is in session at the UN Headquarters in New York to conduct a review of the achievements of World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) over the past decade, says a press release received here on Wednesday.

While thanking the co-facilitators of the review process for a comprehensive intergovernmental stakeholder approach the minister said that “Today we recognize ICT as true drivers of economic growth with immense potential to transform lives of people and societies. However, I believe there is still a lot to be derived from the utility embedded in ICTs”.

She added that the Pakistani Government under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif fully realizes the potential of ICTs to spur socio-economic growth.

While laying down the policy priorities of the government she said that Pakistan considered ICTs to be a key enabler to achieve efficiency, transparency, good governance and empowering the people.

While appreciating the level of connectivity achieved during the past decade she highlighted the need to continually address the issue of bridging digital divides in all manifestations among and within countries so that the remaining population can also have access to the immense knowledge platforms.

Speaking on other important policy questions of internet governance and cyber security which are also under review of the GA, the minister highlighted the need to address worrisome trends in the use of cyberspace have emerged over the years.

She said the cyber criminal activity which represents dark side of internet needs to be dealt collectively through collaborative efforts. In this context there is also a need to build capacity among nations to effectively address emerging issues.

Addressing the need to manage other emerging challenges such as protecting intellectual property rights and privacy she called for a particular focus on these areas and the need to work together to ensure that the rights of individuals offline are appropriately covered online.

The policy statement of the Minister after addressing all issues of consideration by the GA forum, concluded that Pakistan had always followed the policy of free flow of information and open access to the internet.

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