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Polish leaders address future of internet at UN summit

07.12.2021 13:00
Poland's president and prime minister on Tuesday reflected on the future of the internet at the official opening of a United Nations digital summit in the southern Polish city of Katowice.
Polish President Andrzej Duda addresses the United Nations digital summit, IGF 2021, on Tuesday.
Polish President Andrzej Duda addresses the United Nations digital summit, IGF 2021, on Tuesday.PAP/Łukasz Gągulski

In his video contribution to the UN's 2021 Internet Governance ForumPresident Andrzej Duda said that digital transformation was "a must" for global wellbeing.

"But we still need to answer some crucial questions,“ he added.

“How does digitisation change our lives? How can we fully benefit from it globally? What is our vision for future education? Can we fully trust the emerging technologies? How can we harvest its benefits? Or how do we preserve human rights in a digital space?”

Duda emphasised that "these questions need to be answered in a collective manner - not just by a country, by a region, or by a group of stakeholders.” 

What we really need is a joint, concerted effort, otherwise it will simply not work,” he said during his virtual appearance at the event. 

The Polish president voiced hope that the summit would help make the internet "a secure, inclusive and trusted dimension of human activity.”

The bright and dark sides of the internet

Meanwhile, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told the conference that the internet carried “the wonderful promise of a future where people are connected by an ever better, efficient network.”

He added that, during the coronavirus pandemic, the World Wide Web made possible solutions such as e-prescriptions and e-referrals, which “saved many lives.”

At the same time, Morawiecki warned that there were “growing hacker attacks on the part of countries where the internet is being used as a weapon.”

“Therefore, under the auspices of the UN, we must set up special agencies and units, we must put in place the right policies and the right management system,” he urged.

“It is a challenge worthy of the 21st century, and one which we can only meet collectively,” Morawiecki said during his in-person speech in Katowice.

The Internet Governance Forum is an annual UN conference on the future of the internet. This year, its main topic is "internet united" in the sense of the World Wide Web being available to everyone and "connecting all its users into one community," according to the gov.pl website. 

The event, which runs until Friday, brings together thousands of people from all over the world, from policy makers and entrepreneurs to academics and NGO activists.


Source: PAP, TVP Info

Click on the audio player above for a report by Radio Poland's Michał Owczarek.