Vietnam Internet Forum 2017 underway in Hanoi
As published in Vietnam Economic Times on 27 November, 2017
VIF17 co-hosted by Embassy of Sweden in Vietnam and Ministry of Information and Communications on November 27 and 28.
Focusing on sessions such as e-government, open data, smart cities, and social media, the Vietnam Internet Forum 2017 (VIF17) is being held in Hanoi on November 27 and 28 for the first time, marking 20 years of the internet in Vietnam.
With the theme “Digital for Good”, VIF17 seeks to provide a platform for exchanging views on how the internet can foster development in ways that are sustainable and inclusive and that provide information and opportunities.
“Non-government organizations (NGOs) have been given support from many major ICT groups in the world, which is a good way for mutual development among enterprises,” said Ms. Helen Bui, CEO and Founder of Skylet. “We expect these major enterprises will help NGOs resolve the issues they face.”
VIF17 is being co-hosted by the Embassy of Sweden in Vietnam and the Ministry of Information and Communications.
Key co-organizers and partners are the Hanoi People’s Committee, the Lund University Internet Institute (Sweden), the Vietnam Internet Association, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), and the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
“Today, the internet has developed into ways we would never have imagined and had a huge impact on Vietnam, Sweden, and the world,” said Swedish Ambassador to Vietnam H.E. Pereric Hogberg. “It has undeniably sparked innovation and entrepreneurship, created new forms of economic activity, and offered a renewed opportunity for citizens to be heard on a wide range of issues and for governments to be more open, transparent, and accountable. The internet is all about connectivity. It helps people, communities, agencies, and organizations connect, organize, and act towards the common good. We seek an internet that is open, accessible and safe for everyone, including our youth and children.”
VIF17 aims to be an annual platform where government officials, representatives from civil society and academia, business leaders, social entrepreneurs, investors, and other stakeholders come together to discuss the internet’s contribution to an open, sustainable, and innovative society.
Moreover, expanding access to the internet is seen as being integral to the successful implementation of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Agenda sets an ambitious goal of “significantly increasing access to ICT technology and striving to provide universal and affordable access to the internet in the least developed countries by 2020”. The Agenda has also established a new universal standard for development that aims to ensure that no one is left behind.
UNDP Deputy Country Director in Vietnam, Ms. Akiko Fujii, highlighted the positive impact of businesses, especially technology and digital-based businesses, on people’s enjoyment of human rights. “Technology and digital-based companies have played an important role in promoting free expression and facilitating the exchange of ideas and opinions on online platforms, and have promoted inclusion and accessibility in society by developing new innovations that help marginalized groups share in the groundbreaking advances in science and technology,” Ms. Fujii said when launching the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights at VIF17.