ESOA and the Sustainable Development Goals – making a difference

20 October 2017

Buenos Aires I Brussels, 20 October 2017 – Once again, as every four years, the World Telecommunications Development Conference (WTDC) has come to an end.

23 years ago Argentina’s beautiful capital hosted the very first ITU WTDC conference. This year, celebrating the 25th anniversary of ITU-D, Buenos Aires has again been home to this unique event.

Two years ahead of the ITU Plenipotentiary, WTDC focussed on “ICT for Sustainable Development Goals”. Ministers from around the world noted the crucial role telecommunications and ICTs have in achieving the 17 goals. From combating climate change to achieving gender equality, from ensuring inclusion and good health to bringing quality education for all, WTDC addressed all these issues during its two-week deliberations.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals set a clear vision for the future: a world of equal opportunities; a world that is taken care of; a world of inclusion and partnerships. No single solution holds the key; success will only be achieved if more people are connected thanks to more collaboration and more solutions being deployed where needed.

During the event, ESOA members exemplified the difference satellite connectivity makes for the economies and lives of ITU member countries and their citizens. As stated in the newly published Broadband Commission Report, “the ubiquity, reliability, mobility, and improved capability of new satellite and high altitude technologies make them ideal solutions both for expanding the reach of the Internet to rural and remote areas and for contributing new capabilities and applications in urban and suburban areas, to help fully realize the vision of the smart society.”

Still, no matter what the strengths of any individual technology, ambitious goals like the SDGs can only be achieved through true collaboration between technologies and stakeholders and by putting the citizen and his needs at the center of the debate. All stakeholders have a role to play and no person, country or technology should be left out. Satellite operators already contribute to many of the 2030 objectives, making the world a better place by giving people and organizations access to the modern, digital world.