UNIDO and ITU convene special session on SDG9 at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)

UNIDO and ITU convene special session on SDG9 at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)

GENEVA, 16 July 2017 - Top industry, government and civil society leaders have met to discuss how action-oriented partnerships with country-level programming can help make concrete contributions towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal 9 (infrastructure, industry and innovation) as well as starting to implement Industry 4.0. This special session at the World Summit for the Information Society (WSIS) Forum 2017 was hosted by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

“For both ITU and UNIDO, SDG 9 is of paramount importance, as we leverage our core competencies to maximize our unique contribution to the UN’s efforts to achieve the SDGs,” ITU Secretary-General, Houlin Zhao, told the audience as he opened the session. “The aim of this partnership is also to engage all stakeholders so that together we can advance on achieving SDG 9 and contribute towards achieving the other SDGs.”

One of the panel discussions during the session focused on the question of how developing countries can prepare for the inevitable advance of Industry 4.0. The panel was comprised of Ratika Jain, Executive Director of Manufacturing at the Confederation of Indian Industries; Sami Haddadin, Professor and Director of the Institute of Automatic Control at Leibniz University; and Sebastián Díaz Mesa who heads the Marketing and Communications team at Start-Up Chile, a public startup accelerator created by the Government of Chile.

The discussion highlighted the importance of having a coherent strategy for Industry 4.0, and the need to focus not just on companies but also on creating an eco-system to support the creation of technologies.

Panellists also stressed the important role to be played by international organizations in, amongst others, sharing knowledge and technologies, connecting actors in different markets and cultures, and providing education and training.

Other discussions during the special session focused on investment and partnerships, digital transformation for sustainable development, and on how to ensure success at the country-level.

In her closing remarks, Fatou Haidara, Managing Director at UNIDO, said, “The international community now recognizes the large number of opportunities for growth offered by digital transformation, interconnectedness and new manufacturing technologies related to Industry 4.0.”

Haidara noted some of the challenges faced by developing countries, including inadequate skill sets, a lack of physical and digital infrastructure, and limited connectivity. She called for a coordinated effort to meet these challenges.

For more information:

Special SDG9 session agenda

WSIS Forum website

Detailed description of all sessions of the event (pdf)

Event's Flickr album

Article by ITU News: ‘Industry 4.0’: How can we use tech to accelerate #SDG9?