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STATEMENT on World Congress on Information Technology

17.10.2019

STATEMENT
on World Congress on Information Technology

as delivered by H.E. Mr. Armen Papikyan, Permanent Representative of Armenia
at the 1244th Meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council
October 17, 2019

Mr. Chairman,

We would like to inform the Permanent Council about an event that took place in Armenia last week.

On October 6-9, Armenia hosted the 23rd World Congress on Information Technology, which is the signature event of the World Information Technology and Services Alliance, a consortium of ICT associations from 83 countries, representing 90% of the world's IT industry. For 40 years, the WCIT brings together CEOs, investors, policy makers, government officials, academics, and technologists to discuss the state of affairs and development trends of the IT industry.

This year more than 2000 delegates from 70 countries, 10 special keynote speakers, 70 prominent moderators and panellists got together in Yerevan to discuss the main theme of the event – the Power of Decentralization: Promise and Peril, and in a series of discussions called The Yerevan Talks to explore how information and communications technology is transforming our lives for better and for worse, including its impact on profits and prosperity, safety and security, democracy, education and many other aspects of our daily life. Important topics, such as artificial intelligence, smart cities, cybersecurity, climate change, women in technology and many others were thoroughly scrutinized. Throughout the Congress, dozens of leading tech companies from around the world participated in a large exhibition.

The WCIT 2019 was inaugurated with a concert performed by the WCIT Orchestra made up of 100 symphony musicians from 15 countries which played for the first time the music composed in real-time by Artificial Intelligence technology, derived from the “musical DNA” of those countries.

In his opening remarks Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan underlined the significance of invaluable setting of 2019 WCIT as an extremely relevant platform to discuss some of the most pertinent questions of the future of technology which may have far-reaching social, economic and political ramifications for humanity.
On the margins of the Congress several high-level side events, including a Ministerial session took place with the participation of high-level Government officials, including Ministers and Deputy Ministers in charge of ICT sector, representatives of Municipalities, Development Agencies, Business Communities, Research and Educational Institutions and Civil Society.

Mr. Chairman,

The ICT sector in Armenia has been steadily growing over the past decade, with yearly double-digit growth of total revenues of the IT industry. The Government of Armenia has declared IT a strategic area of focus and the legislation of the country creates favourable conditions for the sector. Consistent efforts are made to promote the development of high-tech innovations, ecosystems, and start-ups in industry. Today, the share of the sector in the country’s GDP reaches 7,4%.

In conclusion, I would like to assure you that Armenia stands ready to further contribute to identifying means for untapping the potential of technologies by offering platforms for dialogue, exchanges and cooperation, in support of innovation and socially impactful projects which may also contribute to comprehensive security agenda of the OSCE across its three dimensions.

I thank you.