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UN Secretary-General's video message to the World Internet of Things Convention
I am pleased to send my greetings to the World Internet of Things Convention.
Technologies are transforming lives and livelihoods. The Internet of things offers great potential for sustainable development — from energy savings to remote medical procedures, from access to education to healthier nutrition.
But digital technologies are also outpacing regulations and deepening inequalities. A fully interconnected new economy means leaving no one behind — and no one offline.
Nearly half of humanity still has no access to the Internet.
We must work together to bridge the digital divide in this decade and ensure that everyone has meaningful access — in particular women and girls. This is not only a matter of equity — it also opens new doors for economic growth.
At the same time, we must prevent and reduce the dangers of digital technologies. This includes the abuse of data, which is being used to boost profits and manipulate behaviour.
Together, we must establish appropriate regulations for data and privacy.
We also need new security standards that enable companies and organizations to improve cyberprotection, prevent data breaches and stop illegal surveillance.
We must fully embrace the promise of digital technology while building guardrails to protect people from its perils.
This is the vision of our proposed Global Digital Compact — an open, free, secure, and inclusive Internet.
We are working to secure agreement on this Compact at next year’s Summit of the Future — with input from the private sector, civil society, academia and others.
I wish you successful deliberations. Together, let us build a fair and safe digital future for all people, everywhere.