UN Selects Riyadh to Host the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) 2024

Published 12/10/2023
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The United Nations has selected Riyadh, the capital of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, to host the 19th edition of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in 2024. The IGF is an annual event organized by the United Nations, bringing together global experts to discuss and formulate international trends and policies regarding the developments of internet governance in a collaborative manner between governments, the private sector, and non-profit organizations.

H.E. Eng. Abdullah Bin Amer Alswaha, the Minister of Communications and Information Technology, affirmed that the Kingdom is leading international efforts to increase digital inclusion and bridge the digital divide worldwide. It aims to contribute to building a thriving and inclusive digital economy for all. This comes in light of the unlimited support received by the sector from the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and His Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, the Prime Minister. 

H.E. Eng. Ahmed Bin Mohammed Alsuwaiyan, the Governor of the Digital Government Authority, pointed out that the United Nations' selection of Riyadh to host this global forum reflects Saudi Arabia’s leading role and efforts in maximizing the impact of digital infrastructure to achieve sustainable development goals and serve communities and business sectors. The trust placed by international organizations in Saudi Arabia’s ability to host major exhibitions and global conferences confirms its position as an advanced country in the field of communications, information technology, and digital government. It also recognizes its excellence in various fields in line with the programs and initiatives of Saudi Vision 2030.

IGF brings together more than 160 countries and features over 1,000 speakers consisting of global experts and specialists. It hosts more than 300 sessions and workshops, in addition to launches, awards, and cooperative agreements that will take place over its five days. These activities aim to facilitate the exchange of experiences, success stories, and best practices in public policy issues related to the Internet. The forum seeks to shape the future of the Internet and technology and build a secure digital future for all.

It is worth mentioning that Riyadh's hosting of this Forum comes at a time when Saudi Arabia has made significant progress, as evidenced by its achievements in international indexes and reports. According to the European Center for Digital Competitiveness, Saudi Arabia ranked second in the Digital Competitiveness Index among G20 countries. Additionally, it achieved the third place globally out of 198 countries in the GOVTECH Maturity Index issued by the World Bank Group. Saudi Arabia also secured the fourth place globally in the Digital Regulations Readiness issued by the International Telecommunication Union. Furthermore, the digital economy contributed 15% to the country's Gross Domestic Product, as stated in the Article IV Consultation report by the International Monetary Fund.

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