Opening address of the president of the House of Representatives, Mrs Annita Demetriou, to the “Digital Agenda Cyprus Summit 2023”
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is with a heavy heart that we acknowledge that this year’s Digital Agenda Summit is taking place amidst the backdrop of shaking geopolitical changes and under the shadow of fierce military conflicts. As we gather here to explore the forefront of digital and technological innovation, the ongoing war in Ukraine and the recent, appalling events unfolding in our neighboring country, Israel, are a reminder that despite our remarkable progress in technology, humanity still remains unable to entirely prevent the eruption of pain and destruction in our world.
The extraordinary situation that we were called to face by the pandemic of Covid-19 showcased the pressing need for immediate inclusion in the digital era, highlighting how technology can be harnessed for the greater good of societies. The pandemic revealed not only our vulnerability but also the immense potential of technology to bring about positive change.
In the face of these turbulent times, it is apparent that digital transformation can bring both promising developments and challenges. In this light, today’s Summit provide us an excellent opportunity to reflect upon the profound responsibilities that accompany technological advancement and innovation.
Cyprus has already recognized the importance of digital transformation and is committed to embrace digital technologies and innovation aiming to become a fit for future society and a knowledge-based economy enabled by digital technologies.
In this light, the Republic of Cyprus is currently implementing the national Digital Strategy for 2020-2025, which is broadly aligned with the EU digital strategy. Several initiatives were also launched for supporting digital skills development and strengthening the digital fitness and capacity of people under the umbrella of the National Digital Skills Action Plan 2021-2025.
Cyprus has been also consistent in taking the required measures to improve the provision of digital public services. In this regard, the House of Representatives has made a top priority out of both modernizing its own operations and enhancing public participation through digital means. To this end, the Parliament has created, inter alia, a new website with integrated tools for easier access and communication from citizens, has installed a digital Resource Management System and has launched upgraded social media accounts. In addition, the archives and publications of the Parliament have been digitalized and the House was equipped with state-of-art technology for the broadcast of the Plenary Sessions and the conduct of secure teleconferences.
Cyprus has taken resolute steps in the direction of digital transition through its ambitious Recovery and Resilience Plan, which introduces measures aimed at establishing innovation programs and funding schemes and implementing reforms in the education and training system to prepare the youth for the digital future. In addition, Cyprus is seeking ways to adapt to the needs of tech businesses by promoting fintech and blockchain technologies.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The House of Representatives is committed to work collaboratively with the Executive and all the relevant stakeholders to streamline all the necessary legislation and enforce the vision set by our national digital strategies.
Moreover, as all the members of the Parliament acknowledge the enormity of this digital wave, replete with novel terms and concepts, we sincerely embrace and support all initiatives, like today's Digital Agenda Cyprus Summit that aim to inform and facilitate discussions on these critical matters.
With that, I officially open the summit works and I extend my warmest congratulations to the organizers for their efforts in bringing this important discourse to fruition.
Thank you for your attention and I wish you an excellent conference!
(As sent by the House of Representatives)
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