Statement by H.E. Ambassador Toshiya Hoshino Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations at the 19th Infopoverty World Conference

(Check against delivery)
Thank you Moderator,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Allow me to begin by congratulating you on holding the 19th Infopoverty World Conference, and expressing what a great honor it is to me to speak at this very important event.
[STI for SDGs Roadmaps]
I am always impressed by the topics taken up by Infopoverty, this year being Smart Cities. In order for cities to be really smart, I think use of STI will be the key. The application of STI as a fundamental process for achieving the SDGs has become a vital topic here at the UN.
In this regard, IATT has been developing the “SDGs Roadmap,” and Japan has been actively engaged in this development process. The Roadmap aims to guide Member States to integrate STI elements into their respective national development goals or growth strategies, so that every country can enjoy the benefits of STI as they pursue the achievement of the SDGs.
In particular, we believe that STI should be used in a human-centered way, and should be used properly to accelerate the achievement of SDGs, and an effective Roadmap is crucial to this endeavor. Here at the UN, we have the STI Forum every year to consider and discuss the uses and applications of STI for development. This year, Japan is leading the discussion on the Roadmap at the Forum. In that connection, I think that the outcomes of today’s Conference are quite inspirational, and we will be happy to convey them to the STI Forum.
[Society 5.0]
In this context, it is very timely to discuss how promoting the concept of “Smart Cities” contributes to the achievement of the SDGs. This issue is not limited to impoverished regions. For its part, Japan is actively promoting “Society 5.0 for the SDGs” as one of the three pillars of its national SDGs Action Plan.
“Society 5.0” is a guideline for facilitating STI as a mechanism to fuse cyberspace and physical space in order to bring about a human-centered society that balances economic advancement with the resolution of social problems. It not only calls for the application of cutting-edge technologies in advanced industries, but presents immense potential for empowering disadvantaged communities through the integration of social spaces with new fundamental technologies such as the Internet of Things (IOT), big data and artificial intelligence (AI).
If this sounds unfamiliar to you, don’t worry. A picture is worth a thousand words, and I have prepared something even better: a short video clip that envisions what is enabled by “Society 5.0.”
<Short Video clip>
You may think that the concept of “Society 5.0” would only be applicable to urban areas; however, I would like to emphasize that it also offers significant benefits in the rural areas to realize economic development while solving social problems. For instance, ICT satellite education and the delivery of medicines and basic supplies through drones are much needed in remote areas that are difficult to reach or have limited means of transportation. “Society 5.0” promotes a positive future for all. Japan, as holder of the G20 presidency, wishes to carry this concept forward at the G20 Osaka Summit this year.
I would like to conclude by asking for your generous inquiry in developing specific courses of action, assuming that realizing Society 5.0 will contribute to achieving the SDGs in slum regions and remote rural communities. I look forward to exchanging insights with you today.
Thank you.