22 November 2021

Secretary-General, in Video Message, Calls for Harnessing Potential of Digital Technologies to Build Resilience, Propel Circular Economy

Following is the text of UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ video message to the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, today:

I am pleased to convey my greetings to this fourth Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit.  My thanks to the Co-Chairs, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology of the United Arab Emirates.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of digitalization in increasing business resilience and competitiveness — and safeguarding essential value chains.  But, it has also made clear that we must do more to strengthen global digital capacities and close the digital divide.

UNIDO has found that just 10 economies account for about 90 per cent of advanced innovation patents worldwide, while 88 countries have yet to utilize advanced technologies and digital production in a significant way.  Women also continue to be marginalized, comprising just 30 per cent of STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] researchers.

Digital technologies can propel the circular economy and help address the climate crisis.  But, making the most of this potential — particularly to help the most vulnerable — requires strengthened partnerships for climate finance, more robust commitments to decarbonize, support for innovation ecosystems and greater investments in digital infrastructure.

Thank you for coming together to forge solutions to promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization — as we accelerate progress on the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.

For information media. Not an official record.