Mr. Liu Zhenmin Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs

Opening Remarks
Fourth World Internet Conference (Wuzhen Summit)

Distinguished Participants,
Ladies and Gentlemen,


It gives me great pleasure to join you at this Fourth World Internet Conference.

The theme of the Conference – Developing Digital Economy for Openness and Shared Benefits – is highly important and timely.

The theme embodies the essence of the outcome of 10-year review of the World Summit on the Information Society by the United Nations General Assembly, which sets a course for the next 10 years of development of Internet and Information and Communication Technologies for sustainable development.

Critically, the theme also points to the importance of Information and Communication Technologies for realizing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – a visionary global Agenda adopted by Heads of State and Government at the United Nations Summit in September 2015.

The 2030 Agenda highlights that the spread of information and communications technology and global interconnectedness has enormous potential to accelerate human progress, to bridge the digital divide and to develop knowledge societies, as does scientific and technological innovation across areas as diverse as medicine and energy.

17 Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) are at the heart of this Agenda, encapsulating our aspirations to build a better world by 2030.
I want to draw attention to SDG9, which calls for significantly increasing access to information and communications technology and striving to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet in least developed countries by 2020.

This target is just three years away.

The World Internet Conference brings together high-level government and private sector representatives. Only if these two communities and civil society join forces will we realize the SDGs.
Here in Wuzhen, we need to reflect on how best to work together to mobilize the huge investments necessary to realize the SDGs and to create the kind of decent jobs, inclusive growth and sustainable development that should accompany the on-going digital revolution.

We are making headway. Internet firms are making an important contribution to job creation, notably through small and medium enterprises. This should be encouraged.

We must go even further. The 2030 Agenda calls on all businesses “to apply their creativity and innovation to solving sustainable development challenges”. It is vital that the digital economy continue to be put at the service of humanity. This implies reducing digital divides.

Advancing the SDGs thus also requires steering innovation to areas where it can improve people’s lives. Innovation and new information and communication technologies may ultimately be our key tool to trigger a leap towards the SDGs. Meanwhile, we should also meet up to the challenges brought by those frontier issues such as Artificial Intelligence, Robotic Technology, etc.

This Conference is also a moment to reflect on how we can ensure that new information and communications technology contributes to reducing inequalities within and among countries.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Both the World and China are in the midst of profound and complex changes. Development is the key to address many of the challenges. The historical 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China has drawn a two-stage development plan for the period from 2020 to the middle of the century, which covers the critical phase of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. I believe that a prosperous China will make great contribution to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and a community of shared destiny.

I wish the Fourth Conference a great success.

Thank you.

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