Excellencies, 

Introduction

1. Let me first thank the United Nations Development Programme Administrator Achim Steiner for inviting me to speak at this event. 

Digital Transformation for More Resilient Communities and Businesses

2. During the COVID-19 pandemic, our schools, hospitals, businesses and governments all depended heavily on technological innovation and digital infrastructure to keep our operations afloat.

3. However, there are differences in digital maturity. Some countries are more advanced in terms of their digital infrastructure and strategy. Now, as we work together towards economic recovery, we see that the more digitally mature nations have greater resilience and can recover faster.

4. In Singapore, COVID-19 has accelerated our digital transformation. We embarked on a multi-pronged strategy encompassing the key pillars of digital government, digital security, and digital inclusion. For example, we quickly developed trusted digital government services for our citizens, while ensuring that our digital infrastructure remained secure and resilient. We also worked with the industry to upskill our workforce in digital technology, and rallied community partners and digital ambassadors to ensure digital access and inclusion for vulnerable groups, such as senior citizens, children in lower-income households, and micro-enterprises. 

Singapore’s Contributions at International Fora

5. Another lesson we learnt from the pandemic is that no country can do this alone. To achieve real change from digital transformation, strong cooperation at the global level is necessary.  

6. Within our region, Singapore works closely with our ASEAN partners on the ASEAN Digital Masterplan, a framework to develop a vibrant digital economy and nurture an inclusive digital society in ASEAN, where everyone can benefit from digital technologies.

7. At the UN, we actively contribute to initiatives, such as capacity building efforts by the UNDP’s Global Centre for Technology, Innovation and Sustainable Development, as well as the UN-Singapore Cyber Fellowship and the Open-Ended Working Group on developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security. Singapore has also submitted our open-source digital products for sharing with the international community, through the Digital Public Goods Alliance. 

Conclusion

8. We strongly believe that investments in digital public infrastructure are essential, to enable our citizens to succeed and stay resilient against future crises. I look forward to working with you, to build this open, inclusive and secure digital future for all of us.  

9. Thank you.
 
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