ICC calls for collaborative approach to digital transformation

  • 24 April 2019

At this year’s World Summit on Information Society (WSIS), International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva Crispin Conroy, called for a collaborative approach between business and other stakeholders to enable the digital transformation of societies.

As technology continues to shape our world, ICC is working to create policies that are capable of unleashing economic and development opportunities for all. Last week, the International Telecommunication Union (ITC) hosted its 10th annual World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) in Geneva to discuss the creation of an equitable information society that advances the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set forth by the United Nations.

Recognising the need for a collaborative approach to digital policymaking, ICC participated in this year’s WSIS to make the case for private sector investment and innovation across the digital ecosystem.

Crispin Conroy, ICC Permanent Representative to the United Nations at Geneva, delivered his opening statement to the summit on the importance of creating an environment that enables business investment and innovation, as well as public-private partnerships.

“The private sector has the opportunity to be a partner to governments in enabling digital transformation of societies – bringing the power of ICTs (Information and Communication Technologies) to bear on a host of government, business and citizen needs,” said Mr Conroy.

Due to the private sector’s key role in this digital transformation process, ICC supports the creation of a stable legal and regulatory environment that welcomes new entrants into the market and values competition. In addition, ICC believes that open markets and the free flow of data will help digital innovators flourish, especially SMEs, who face market barriers due to their limited resources.

ICC particularly encourages partnerships between business and other stakeholders. “In many ways, WSIS exemplified this collaborative approach to digital policymaking, by convening leaders from business, government and civil society, into panels to discuss strategies for improving the accessibility of digital technology for all,” said Mr Conroy.

Mr Conroy participated in a moderated high-level policy session on “Enabling Environment,” which examined how regulations can help enhance the quality of digital services for operators, governments, business and end users in society. The session included government ministers from Bahrain and Zimbabwe, as well heads of national agencies from Afghanistan, Mexico, Romania, Switzerland and UAE.

As the session’s sole voice of business, Mr Conroy outlined ICC’s support for establishing close ties between the private sector and other stakeholders to ensure that all digital policies build opportunities for all.

“Multistakeholder cooperation is essential to ensure that policy approaches maximise the Internet’s developmental opportunities, promote investment and foster entrepreneurship and innovation,” said Mr Conroy.