Digital Tech and Sustainable Development Discussed at "Connected for Shared Prosperity" Forum

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Governmental ministers from multiple countries gathered today at the Connected for Shared Prosperity forum organized by Huawei, GSMA, the Center for Environmental Economic Studies at Fudan University, and The Paper with the help of UNESCO as part of the lead-up to MWC Shanghai 2021.

Digital Tech and Sustainable Development Discussed at "Connected for Shared Prosperity" Forum
Digital Tech and Sustainable Development Discussed at "Connected for Shared Prosperity" Forum

Spanish Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism María Reyes Maroto, Portuguese Minister of Infrastructure and Housing Pedro Nuno Santos, Hungarian Minister of Innovation and Technology László Palkovics, Malaysian Minister of Communications and Multimedia Dato' Saifuddin bin Abdullah, and the Thai Secretary-General of the National Digital Economy and Society Commission Vunnaporn Devahastin all spoke at the event. Both speakers accepted that the global economic recovery is rising in step with stronger pandemic control measures. They also accepted that reductions in emissions, more employment, and more programs in promoting growth are required to attain the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030 and the Paris Agreement's long-term goals. Multiple speakers described emerging technology and global cooperation as central in this phase.

Huawei Senior Vice President and Director of the Board Catherine Chen also delivered a keynote speech at the conference. She stated Huawei's conviction that technology's ultimate purpose is to help all humans and that digital technologies will promote the UN SDGs. She called on businesses to take firm steps to use technology to generate more value for the world as a whole.

Huawei has long been an advocate for promoting technological innovation. In 2020, Huawei recycled over 4,500 tons of electronic waste Through multiple initiatives, including a reduction of plastics in their phone packaging (1.8 million shopping bags of plastic saved per 10 million phones) and a reduction of 148 million tons of CO2 emissions through the deployment of their FusionSolar solution in more than 60 countries and regions (equivalent to planting more than 200 million trees) (equivalent to planting more than 200 million trees). Huawei also helped develop the world's largest agricultural PV power plant and fishery PV power plant in Ningxia and Shandong, respectively, contributing significantly to local environmental protection efforts.

"Ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all" has also been set as one of the UN SDGs. As of the end of 2020, Huawei's TECH4ALL Connecting Schools and DigiTruck services have been taken to more than 200 schools, benefiting over 60,000 teachers and students. In a related initiative, Huawei is also partnering with UNESCO on a three-year Open Schools program in Egypt, Ethiopia, and Ghana to help schools develop digital skills and promote online education.

Stefania Giannini, UNESCO's Assistant Director-General for Education, explained that information and communications technologies (ICT) play a crucial role in ensuring educational continuity, making education more inclusive, and offering lifelong learning solutions through interactive websites, online libraries, and video courses.

Also Read: Huawei's Catherine Chen: Believe in the Power of Technology

More than 1,000 participants from over 50 countries attended the conference online or onsite, and discussions were live broadcast in eight languages. Attendees accepted that emerging innovations have become the backbone of sustainable development and would help more people in many ways.

One attendee, Siddharth Chatterjee, the new UN Resident Coordinator in China, said, "Digital technology can help us to build back faster, and more importantly, expedite the transformation towards a low carbon future… Global challenges need a global response. We must rethink the way businesses invest and operate. We must drive technology for social good. We must advance policies and practices to accelerate Sustainable Development Goals."

European Parliament Member Frances Fitzgerald also acknowledged that, with the rollout of 5G cellular networks, the world is on the verge of the next revolution. 5G has the potential to impact positively on people's lives and well-being in areas such as health, education, and food production, and digital technology can facilitate sustainable development goals.

The Director-General of the GSMA Mats Granryd said, "In 2016, the mobile industry was the first to fully commit to the 17 SDGs. And we have been at work ever since, contributing to every one of the 17 goals, including climate action, digital inclusion, and sustainability."

Zhang Wenhong, Director of the Fudan University Huashan Hospital Infectious Disease Department, also spoke out about the need to continue promoting unhindered growth, citing how social harmony and developments in science and technology are crucial in combating epidemics. He went on to say that the current pandemic has only highlighted how desperately we need to solve developmental problems that result in environmental degradation.

The Director of Fudan University's Center for Environmental Economic Studies, Li Zhiqing, closed out the event saying, "China is pushing for the comprehensive green transformation of social and economic development, and peaking carbon emissions and achieving carbon neutrality are the top priority in the transformation. We should encourage innovation in disciplines like economics, finance, and ecological environment which span liberal arts and engineering, to fill the gap in the talent needed for sustainable development in the future."

MWC Shanghai 2021 runs from February 23 to February 25 in Shanghai, China. Huawei exhibits its products and solutions at booth E10, E50, and E90 in Hall N1 in the Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC) (SNIEC). For more information, please visit

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