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Internet access as a fundamental right for citizens

Minister Colao's speech at the G20 Digital Ministers' meeting in Indonesia

Date 01 september 2022

The G20 Digital Ministers' meeting was held today in Bali, under the Indonesian Presidency. Minister of Technological Innovation and Digital Transition Vittorio Colao spoke in a video message, emphasising the Indonesian Presidency's commitment to advancing some of the priorities supported by our country last year.

In his speech, Minister Colao reiterated his strong condemnation of Russia's aggression against Ukraine and explained how Russian attacks on Ukraine's digital infrastructure and telecommunications threaten international cooperation by undermining G20 efforts to promote global connectivity and data exchange between countries.

The Minister expressed his appreciation for the work of the Indonesian Presidency, which gives continuity to the work of the Italian one, highlighting how the priorities identified (connectivity, digital literacy and skills, cross border data flow) are aligned with the objectives of our country's digitalisation strategy. Internet access, as emphasised by Minister Colao, is a fundamental right for citizens and secure, high-quality connectivity is a key factor for an inclusive digital transformation.

Although the internet played a key role during the COVID-19 emergency, disparities still persist both between and within countries in terms of connectivity.

On the subject of digital skills, the Minister went on to say how the persistent gaps risk exacerbating the existing socio-economic disparities. The Indonesian Presidency's work in this area is helping to strengthen the most effective policies to overcome the digital divide.

In conclusion, as stated by the Minister, G20 partners have the common goal of harnessing the potential of digitalisation to ensure sustainable development with respect for human rights.