The Arab Ministerial Council for Ministers of Information and Communication Technology launches «The Arab Digital Declaration»

Date: 18 - 12 - 2019

The Arab Ministerial Council for Ministers of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) issued «The Arab Digital Declaration», in Riyadh, within their twenty-third regular meeting. The meeting was held under the slogan «Arab Ambition…for a Digital Generation»

This came in a joint statement by the ministerial meeting, the statement emphasized the importance to develop a road map for building an integrated digital society, prosperous and sustainable, aiming at development, a digital society where everyone can harness their potential to promote their development and enhance their lives, this is all based on the purposes and principles of the Arab League Charter.

«The Arab Digital Declaration» included five principles which are: «Our Purpose is a Digital Economy», «Our Youth are Our Engine», «Our Fuel is Our Data», «Our Innovations are Our Aspirations», and, «Our Unity is Our Strength».

And as per the joint statement for the Arab digital declaration, the council will attach particular importance to qualify and train Arab youth, due to their effective role in shaping the present and looking forward to the future, this will also prepare a suitable enabling environment for ICT on national and Arabic levels.

The declaration also pointed to the fact that the declaration efforts would be narrow the social and economic gaps, it would also narrow the gaps among different social classes, individuals, and areas. That would lead to push economic development in member countries, it would also support job creation and leveraging standards of living in all the member countries.

The declaration also pointed to the fact that data is the new oil, this would require us all to work together, and more than anytime before, to achieve the highest utilization of the data we have, and to face its cross-border challenges, all those efforts should be serve the Arab interests and enhance the Arab digital abilities to sustain the national sovereignty.

The declaration drew the attention to the importance of supporting the Arab youth and entrepreneurs to develop applications in all the different fields, in a way that those applications will be hosted in the Arab region.

The declaration also invited to alter the digital gap that the Arab countries suffer from, into an opportunity at the hand of everyone, in a way that would make a change and development in the Arab digital system generally, and to achieve comprehensive, sustainable development.

The declaration stated the importance of designing intelligent systems, depending on Artificial Intelligence (AI), in a way that would enable the explanation of the decisions provided by those systems, and to enable everyone to know the ways to use them. Pointing to the important need to raise the awareness about the ethical dimensions for innovations and new technologies, and to attach particular importance to those ethical dimensions under the significant technological development the world witnesses nowadays.

The declaration indicated that the Arab digital system strives to multiply the human and financial resources to increase the use of ICT, to build a prosperous Arab digital society, and to develop mechanisms of cooperation and governance, to make use of the benefits, and to face the challenges of the technology more than anytime before, under the accelerating digital transformation. And to follow unified procedures to handle the taxation issues of digital economy, in a way that would protect and grow the interests of the Arab countries.

The declaration also indicated to the fact that all these efforts come along with collaboration to face the challenges coming from evolving technologies and innovations, like the challenges related to trust and safety while using ICT. It also indicated the importance of preparing ethical principles that would control developing and utilizing ICT in a way that would not affect promoting technological innovation.

The declaration stressed on protecting privacy and personal data, and to follow procedures and precautions suitable to prevent ICT abuse, like illegal conducts, and other actions based on intolerance, hatred, violence, or any form of child abuse or exploitation.