UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said international cooperation on digital technology is essential to help defeat COVID-19 and achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
"Information technology can be a beacon of hope, allowing billions of people around the world to connect," he said in a message on Sunday marking the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day.
During the COVID-19 pandemic these connections – with loved ones, with schools and colleges, with workplaces, with healthcare professionals and essential supplies– are more important than ever, the UN chief said.
He said the International Telecommunication Union continues to work with the information and communication technology community and UN agencies to help manage and end this crisis, and recover better.
"New technologies, from 5G and big data to cloud computing and artificial intelligence, are powerful tools to tackle the world’s most pressing challenges, including the pandemic.
Leaving no one behind means leaving no one offline," he said.