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Dubai, United Nations’ ITU and UNICC launch ‘Discovering The CitiVerse’ initiative

Dubai, United Nations’ ITU and UNICC establish ‘Discovering The CitiVerse’ initiative
14 June 2024 19:47


Digital Dubai, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), and the United Nations International Computing Centre (UNICC) announced on Friday the launch of the Global Initiative on Virtual Worlds (GIVW) – Discovering The CitiVerse. The announcement coincides with the celebration of the 1st UN Virtual Worlds Day, held at ITU headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

This initiative is a forward-looking effort to explore the potential impact of next-generation virtual worlds, including the CitiVerse concept, on society. These virtual worlds hold immense promise for creating new opportunities, but also present complex challenges that need to be addressed.

The GIVW will focus on harnessing the positive impact of virtual worlds on key industries such as urban planning, tourism, and education, aiming to improve decision-making and enrich urban living for all. By fostering a comprehensive understanding of the interplay between technology, societal trends, and economic factors, the GIVW seeks to ensure that everyone benefits from the potential of virtual worlds. 

GIVW Objectives 

The GIVW establishes a global platform to champion open, interoperable, and innovative virtual worlds that prioritise safety and user trust. It leverages the expertise of ITU Study Groups, particularly ITU-T Study Group 20 “IoT and Smart cities & Communities”, Focus Group on Metaverse (FG-MV), along with the UN initiative “United for Smart Sustainable Cities (U4SSC)” and other international initiatives. 

This collaborative approach will propel the GIVW towards its key objective which revolves around 3 points include, serving as the avenue for developing normative frameworks addressing principles, enablers and governance for applying metaverse solutions; providing training and hosting events to disseminate knowledge, raise awareness and sharing best practices and solutions among cities worldwide; and delivering a sandbox environment to test, and experiment with virtual worlds scenarios in cities around the world. 

As the Global Chair of the Executive Committee leading the Global Initiative, H.E. Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori said: “We witness an important era in a history marked by rapid and successive changes requires us to look ahead and anticipate the upcoming technological developments as a vital issue that requires collective and sustained action.” 

He added: “At Digital Dubai, we have always been advocates of enhancing global cooperation in digital transformation in line with the directives of wise leadership, and because today's opportunities and challenges are cross border, and its impact will affect human beings everywhere. This applies to the world of Metaverse and its renewed techniques with the prospects and challenges that we must prepare for and explore the possibilities of employing it to serve the goals of sustainable development globally”.

“Cities are the incubator of innovation, and laboratories for the application of new concepts. “Discovering The CitiVerse” is a good example of global proactive approach that will bring benefits to everyone”.  Al Mansoori said.

On his part, Younus Al Nasser, Chief Executive of the Dubai Data and Statistics Establishment, Digital Dubai said: “As we all unite on this platform, I see the future before me. A future we have collaboratively imagined and are today laying the foundations to design and build.”

“The launch of this initiative represents a proactive effort, by all the initiative’s partners and Executive Committee Members, to adopt emerging technologies and benefit from their impact on people's lives by building a galaxy of interoperable virtual worlds.

“I am delighted that this initiative was proposed by Digital Dubai, and even happier that it has received such great support from our UN partners, the ITU and the UNICC,” Al Nasser concluded.

“ITU’s metaverse focus group has laid the groundwork for new international standards and fostered a spirit of collaboration certain to last for years to come,” said ITU Secretary-General Doreen Bogdan-Martin.  

On his behalf, Sameer Chauhan, Director, UNICC “At UNICC, we are thrilled to be part of this global initiative with ITU and Digital Dubai. We believe this initiative allows us to explore metaverse solutions that better meet citizens' needs and share knowledge and best practices among cities worldwide. By paving the way for future innovations through such a platform, we can unlock the potential of virtual worlds to improve public service delivery, optimize the use of public resources, and enhance citizen participation.” 

Source: Aletihad - Abu Dhabi
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