Digital Transformation for Sustainable Development Goals in the Wake of COVID-19

Digital Transformation for Sustainable Development Goals in the Wake of COVID-19: the key role of Women Engineers and Scientists through advocacy and capacity development

Good day, My name is Yvette Ramos representing today amongst others the Regional Civil society Engagement Mechanism, a platform aimed to enable stronger cross constituency coordination and ensure that voices of all subregions of UNECE are heard in intergovernmental processes at regional and global level. I also represent the Science & Technology constituency with various international organisations engaged in STEM actions for young ladies and women .

Thanks so much for the very interesting panel presentations: congratulations to you all for the constructive debates!

The urgent needs of accelerating digital transformation and access for all regardless of age gender and ethnicity give our group the opportunity to highlight our activities and offer partnerships in terms of advocacy and capacity development for the marginalised social groups we represent.

The importance of technology and equal access to all shows that yet a lot has to be done to promote coordination amongst governmental stakeholders at national and international levels on one hand and the Civil society on the other hand, to implement efficiently and effectively the 2030 Agenda through ICTs.

Challenges in accessing technology lie in many factors, including 1) political fragility, 2) looming barriers posed by climate change and 3) gender and other discriminations such as age. As civil society we do recommend:

  • Developing digital skills and building human capacities to reach communities eg persons with disabilities, ethnic minorities and refugee and migrant, etc. Although technologies are becoming increasingly affordable, the acquisition of basic digital skills remains a barrier and the digital divide persists and excludes those who need to be reached.
  • Strengthening Youth employment opportunities while ensuring the participation of girls and women in ICT in all socioeconomic sectors .
  • Offering technological solutions to fight sexual harassment and violence at school, at the university campuses and at the work place.
  • Reinforcing quality education across the life course through activities where women are the main role models: and for this, better and stronger cooperation of all stakeholders is a prerequisite, ensuring convergence, synergies and a cross disciplinary expertise. A collaborative and shared leadership is necessary to reflect learners’ needs and transforming school and adult learning culture in partnership with local communities and local actors.
  • Ensuring steps are taken at regional, national and local level to address the digital divide and that those most left behind receive adequate support
  • Designing a strategic plan to address barriers to their digital access.

Let’s step up the action as it is time to formalize practices and follow the recommendations of the UN and other global stakeholders to develop strategies for Equality in the public and private arenas whether within small or large organizations, NGOs, Engineering societies, Engineering and Science Faculties, and local authorities. We are thus ambitiously proposing simple and practical methods to better integrate Gender Equality and inclusive and anti discrimination policies.

Let us crystallize our efforts to achieve SDG 5 through partnership boost between UN bodies and the civil society, and through it, all of the SDGs for a more inclusive, fair and sustainable world.

Thank you very much and I wish us all a productive collaboration at the Regional Forum 2021.