Riyadh selected by the UN to host 19th Internet Governance Forum
Riyadh, October 12, 2023, Riyadh, the capital of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, has been chosen by the United Nations to host the 19th edition of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in 2024. The IGF is a yearly event convened by the United Nations, uniting global experts to deliberate on and formulate international trends and policies in the realm of internet governance. This collaborative effort involves governments, the private sector, and non-profit organizations.
Eng. Abdullah bin Amer Alswaha, the Minister of Communications and Information Technology, emphasized that the Kingdom is at the forefront of global initiatives to enhance digital inclusion and reduce the global digital divide. The objective is to contribute to the establishment of a thriving and inclusive digital economy accessible to all, backed by unwavering support from the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and His Royal Highness Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister.
Eng. Ahmed bin Mohammed Alsuwaiyan, the Governor of the Digital Government Authority, underscored the significance of the United Nations' selection of Riyadh as the host for this global forum. This choice underscores Saudi Arabia's leading role and dedication to leveraging digital infrastructure to accomplish sustainable development goals, support communities, and enhance business sectors. It reflects the international community's trust in Saudi Arabia's ability to host major exhibitions and global conferences and its position as an advanced nation in the realms of communications, information technology, and digital government, aligning with the goals and initiatives of Saudi Vision 2030.
The IGF attracts participants from over 160 countries, featuring more than 1,000 speakers who are global experts and specialists. The event encompasses over 300 sessions and workshops, as well as launches, awards, and cooperative agreements over its five days. These activities are designed to facilitate the exchange of experiences, success stories, and best practices in public policy matters concerning the Internet.
The overarching goal of the forum is to shape the future of the Internet and technology and foster a secure digital future for all.
Riyadh's hosting of the Forum coincides with Saudi Arabia's notable progress, as evident from its standing in international indexes and reports. According to the European Center for Digital Competitiveness, Saudi Arabia ranks second in the Digital Competitiveness Index among G20 countries. Globally, it secured the third position out of 198 countries in the GOVTECH Maturity Index by the World Bank Group. Furthermore, Saudi Arabia ranks fourth globally in the Digital Regulations Readiness as per the International Telecommunication Union. Additionally, the digital economy contributes 15% to the country's Gross Domestic Product, according to the Article IV Consultation report by the International Monetary Fund.