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UN regional conversation spotlights leveraging connectivity, innovation to build back better

Bangkok - 14 Aug 2020

News Number: N/10/2020

Accelerating Digital Connectivity and Leveraging Innovation

Eminent development thinkers, innovative leaders and senior government officials are coming together on 19 August for a dialogue on how the Asia-Pacific region can accelerate digital connectivity and leverage innovation as part of its post-pandemic recovery efforts.

The dialogue session kicks off a six-part Regional Conversation Series on Building Back Better, hosted by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), in commemoration of the United Nations’ 75th anniversary this year.

The Asia-Pacific region is a key driver of the technological revolution. Yet, it is also one of the most digitally divided, with less than 14 per cent of the population connected to affordable and reliable high-speed Internet. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the digital divide has threatened to become the new face of inequality – exacerbating not only income inequality, but also inequality of opportunity. Panellists will be offering their visions of a future with ground-breaking innovations bringing sustainable development closer to everyone.

Members of the media and public are invited to participate via the webcast on

Regional Conversation Series on Building Back Better: Accelerating Digital Connectivity and Leveraging Innovation

When: 19 August 2020, Wednesday, 12:30-14:00 (Bangkok time, GMT+7)

Key speakers:

  • H.E. Mr. Karma Donnen Wangdi, Minister of Information and Communications, Bhutan
  • H.E Mr. Mohamed Maleeh Jamal, Minister Communication, Science and Technology, Maldives
  • Ambassador (ret.) Ted Osius, Vice President for Government Affairs and Public Policy, Asia-Pacific, Google
  • Dr. Mukai Chiaki, M.D., Ph.D., Astronaut, Senior Advisor, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)
  • Mr. Sami Farhad, Senior Director, Globalization Office, Alibaba
  • Mr. Fabrizio Hochschild, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • Ms. Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of ESCAP

Watch live:

Over the next three months, the Regional Conversation Series on Building Back Better will feature diverse groups of eminent personalities sharing their insights and experiences to inspire actions and advocate solutions on various recovery areas including technology, financing for development, climate action and combatting air pollution, resilient supply chains and connectivity, and social protection. It will culminate at the end of October with the UN Day commemoration and dialogue on ‘Shaping Our Future Together’.

For more information, visit:

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