Caribbean countries pledge to support post-COVID-19 economic, social recovery

Caribbean countries pledge to support post-COVID-19 economic, social recovery

Monday, November 23, 2020

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SAN JOSÉ, Costa Rica (CMC) — Caribbean countries have joined their Latin American counterparts in pledging support to promote digital transformation in helping the region's social and economic recovery in the post coronavirus (COVID-19) era, with a special emphasis on trans-border digital services.

In a joint statement issued at the end of the virtual fifth Digital Government Ministerial Meeting of Latin America and the Caribbean they agreed that “digital transformation is of the essence to promote the region's inclusive economic and social reactivation in the face of the COVID 19 crisis”.

“The colossal challenge posed by the COVID-19 virus pandemic has demanded extraordinary innovative efforts from the digital government agencies in the region in order to develop e-government tools to tackle the healthcare and social crises, while, at the same time, supporting the continuity of government operations, adapting to the different physical distancing methodologies adopted by each country,” according to the ministers and officials from the 33 countries.

The conference was hosted by Costa Rica, in collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Organization of American States (OAS).

According to the joint statement, the “increasingly important role of digital technologies and e-government tools provide sustainable, inclusive and equitable services,” as well as “the transformative power of digital government to enable more efficient, transparent and participative administrations in the region”.

More than 800 high-ranking authorities, government officials, digital government experts and speakers participated in the two-day event that ended over the last weekend.

The statement noted that more than 350 e-government officials took part in a series of thematic meetings on a number of relevant e-government issues, such as cybersecurity, innovation, open data and emerging technologies.

“The exercise was complemented with the signing of a document promoting the trans-border digital signature — a feature that will boost the validation of the digital signature among countries in the region,” the statement said.

Peru will be the venue for the next meeting in 2022.

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