Baku, 13 March 2019 – The sixth edition of the Regional Internet Governance Forum organised jointly by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Government of Azerbaijan convened today in Baku. Attended by the UN Assistant Secretary-General and Director of the UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States Ms. Mirjana Spoljaric Egger and Minister of Transport, Communications and High Technologies Mr. Ramin Guluzade, the forum offered a platform for new thinking to strengthen regional partnership through effective e-governance.
One of UNDP’s signature events held annually in Azerbaijan, this year’s forum featured “Cybersecurity: our shared responsibility” as the main theme of the event. The 6th Regional Internet Governance Forum was a major highlight of the Cyber Week 2019 taking place first time ever in Azerbaijan and cohosted by UNDP and the Government. Bringing together representatives of different institutions, public and private sector, international organisations and subject-matter experts, these two landmark events seek to raise awareness about the importance of cyber security in the era of internet.
Speaking at the opening of the forum, Head of UNDP Eurasia Ms. Spoljaric Eger noted that “this forum opens up important discussions on the future of internet, exploring ways to tap into the potential of internet technologies to transform the lives of ordinary people and enhance a new generation of governance, creating governance platforms that are more inclusive and accessible to all, Leaving No One Behind.”
Noting the remarkable level of cooperation between UNDP and Government of Azerbaijan on the advancement of internet governance practices in the country, Minister Ramin Guluzade stated: “Modern technologies and internet play a vital and indispensable role in furthering human development and advancing societies and governments. They create new opportunities for the education and healthcare systems and, among other things, facilitate trade and employment, and modernise the new media”.
Over the past eighteen years, UNDP has closely partnered with the Government of Azerbaijan, leading on one of the largest e-governance programmes in the region, with projects worth over $50m spanning more than a decade.
Currently, UNDP and the Ministry of Communications, Transport and High Technology are implementing a joint project to modernise and improve the sustainability of the ICT systems and infrastructure in Azerbaijan. This joint effort seeks to extend the benefits and reach of the information and communications technologies to the most remote parts of the country and improve information security for telecommunications operators, businesses and IT companies. The result of this milestone project was the establishment of the country’s first Data Centre - a data storage facility for state and private entities. Azerbaijan thus became the fourth ex-Soviet country with a Data Centre after Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. UNDP and the Ministry also organised an Idea to Business initiative, conducting start-up tours throughout the country to support the expansion of the start-up movement and opening centres for STEM and robotics studies in schools.
For media inquiries, please contact Arzu Jafarli, Communications and External Relations Analyst for UNDP in Azerbaijan at email@example.com