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Digital tech crucial in achieving Sustainable Development Goals

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Digital technology will play a critical role in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), although innovation will most likely affect progress in both positive and negative ways, said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
He said the deployment of new technologies is seen to be essential in achieving the SDGs, considering the need for accelerated progress to fulfil the goals by 2030.
''At the same time, as new technologies are usually unavailable to marginalised populations, it will be a key challenge to ensure that no one is left behind, as new innovations often exacerbate existing divides in society between those who can benefit and those who are left behind.
''With the current speed of innovation, many opportunities and risks are still unknown but could rapidly crystallise without regulators being able to respond in a timely manner.
''Hence, a mindful approach towards the Fourth Industrial Revolution is necessary,'' he said in his speech at the opening of Malaysia SDG Summit 2019 here today.
''Chief among the major global concerns over the last few decades is climate change.''
Dr Mahathir added that other concerns include the degradation of forest, marine and freshwater resources; increase in certain hydro-meteorological and geomorphological events; the decline in food production capacities and other environmentally driven economic systems and climate change’s ethical-justice issues such as environmentally induced displacements and migration, the deprivation and sustenance of certain livelihood activities, and the safety and well-being of the more marginalised sectors of society.
Dr Mahathir said in line with the country's Shared Prosperity Vision 2030, Malaysia will focus on governance reforms based on two core principles, namely integrity and good governance.
Dr Mahathir also highlighted that to achieve the ambitious global SDGs, which include ending poverty, improving global health, ensuring universal education, and mitigating climate change by 2030 would require a substantial amount of funding.
''The expected financial burden is beyond the capacity of the government, and cannot be met by official development assistance.
''The role of the private sector, as well as updated financial markets, will be essential.''

£®Source: New Straits Times£©

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