ESCWA is organizing the first session of the Digital Cooperation and Development Forum (DCDF) 2021 in partnership with the League of Arab States and key actors in the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and Internet Governance Forum (IGF) programmes, including the International Telecommunication Union, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. The event occurs under the One United Nations initiative and within the framework of the Arab States Action Programme on “Advancing Digital Cooperation and Development”, launched by ESCWA in 2020.
The DCDF enables engagement, dialogue and partnership among various stakeholders and experts from the Arab region on crucial issues pertaining to digital development and digital cooperation. It will provide opportunities to review and discuss interlinkages between the information society, digital economy and Internet governance under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The event will involve policy dialogues and policy advocacy platforms, including the third Arab High-Level Forum on WSIS and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the sixth Arab IGF conference. To ensure community engagement, two open calls for session and workshop proposals were opened to Arab WSIS stakeholders and the IGF community. Submissions relating to digital development and/or digital cooperation towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals were particularly encouraged. The IGF community, with a focus on young people, was invited to propose workshops on: global and regional Internet governance ecosystems; access and inclusiveness; legal, policy and regulatory framework; digital economy and digital transformation; and human, cultural and behavioural issues related to digital platforms.
Key objectives include an outcome document on advancing digital cooperation and development in the Arab region, serving as a unique and streamlined multipartite regional collaboration platform.