Speaking at the occasion, Dr. Cosmas Luckyson Zavazava, Director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau of ITU said: “I would like to acknowledge Huawei as one of our key partners globally and in the region. They have been supporting the work of the ITU in digital transformation from Latin America to Africa to Asia Pacific. We would like to continue to strengthen our working relationship, and the signing of this Declaration is going to be impactful and transformative.”
As the United Nations specialized agency for ICT, ITU has proposed the “Connect 2030 Agenda for Global Telecommunication/ICT Development” to focus on ways technological advances will contribute to accelerate the attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
In line with ITU’s mission of connecting all to a better world, Huawei has worked closely with the agency to drive ICT innovations through diverse projects and initiatives in the Asia Pacific region. To date, the two parties have jointly published several research reports on digital infrastructure and economy in the Asia Pacific, with the reports’ key findings presented in regional ministerial ICT roundtables to inform policy changes and share replicable practices.
Another shared focus of Huawei and ITU is to bridge the digital divide and foster telecommunication access, accessibility, affordability, and use for all peoples, including women and girls, youth and vulnerable populations. In 2022, Huawei and ITU organized over 30 youths to join the “Walk into ICT Industry” event and Huawei “Seeds for the Future” project”, aimed at helping students understand the latest technology trends and applications by bringing them to the Huawei Customer Solution Innovation & Integration Experience Center (CSIC) in Bangkok and providing them with them digital skills training from Huawei ASEAN Academy. In 2023, Huawei supported ITU’s “Girls in ICT” initiative by offering a variety of training and internship programs to motivate young women to pursue STEM studies and careers in areas including5G, Cybersecurity, and Cloud.
David Li, Chief Executive Officer of Huawei Technologies (Thailand) Co., Ltd. said the joint declaration “marks a new milestone in our cooperation to enable a digital Thailand and Asia Pacific”, adding: “In the past years, ITU has given Huawei strong support and trust in enabling ICT innovation, supporting digital transformation, and building inclusive connectivity. Moving forward, amidst uncertainties, two things have become more certain than ever before: Partnership and transformation. With this joint declaration, Huawei seeks to further empower a digital and connected Asia Pacific, hand in hand with ITU and all partners.”
The commitment was further highlighted during a side event on the same day, where close to 20 government policy-makers, regulators, academia, and UN guests gathered to share best practices in accelerating digitalization and connect the unconnected in rural areas. Li shared Huawei’s experiences in supporting policymakers and partners to bring electricity, connectivity, and digital services to Thai villages.
“Digital inclusion is a shared responsibility for all sectors. We need a comprehensive framework that is need-driven, evidence-based, partnership-supported and future-proof. It involves close collaboration in five areas: Government policies and incentives, Accessible broadband connectivity, Enhanced affordability, Empowered digital skills for communities, and Wide range of digital services,” Li said.
For its part, ITU is planning to organize a Generation Connect student team to join Huawei’s Seeds for the Future China tour in the next few months to experience the latest digital innovations and applications. The two parties will also further dive into the policies, digital infrastructure, and industry ecosystem needed for the development of digital economy in the Asia Pacific region.