GSMA & UNDP announce an ‘Impact Partnership’ Advancing the Sustainable Development Goals at MWC Barcelona 2021

31 March 2021, London: The GSMA and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) announced today a new partnership that will leverage MWC21 and its start-up event 4YFN to accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). MWC21 will take place in Barcelona from 28 June – 01 July.

As an Impact Partner at MWC21, the UNDP will support the event’s focus on sustainable development, hosting sessions and developing digital content that showcases social impact examples. The content will feature in the Future Society section of the MWC21 website. It will highlight how mobile services, such as COVID-19 track and trace and digital health facilities, are developing in terms of use for the good of everyone worldwide.

The UNDP will also be an Impact Ecosystem Partner for 4YFN, the most influential event in the world for start-ups, investors, corporations, and institutions to connect and launch new business ventures.  At 4YFN, UNDP will launch ‘The Women Innovation Programme’.  This new mentorship programme is designed to benefit 20 female-led start-ups focused on social impact based in the Arab States. The selected start-ups must provide digital-based solutions to eradicate poverty, reduce inequalities and exclusion, and encourage sustainable progress.  The start-ups will be paired with international experts who will offer technical advice on business strategy, marketing & communication, fundraising, management, and pitching.

The GSMA and UNDP will also host a LinkedIn Live event focused on ‘Internet and Connectivity as a Human Right’.  This session will be taking place the week of 19 April and will be led by senior representatives from both organisations.  Further details can be found here.

“Driven by our Digital Strategy, UNDP supports countries to use emerging information and communications technologies to accelerate progress on the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator. “We are seeing increased use of mobile technologies across sectors, for example driving economic growth through mobile money and electronic payment systems and improving health outcomes through increased access to healthcare services.  We are excited to become an Impact Partner with the GSMA to highlight the transformative power of mobile technologies for sustainable development.”

“The GSMA’s annual SDG Report demonstrates the vast contribution of mobile technology towards all 17 of the SDGs,” said GSMA Director General Mats Granryd. “We’re grateful for all the ways that the UNDP has partnered with the GSMA and the mobile industry. Welcoming them to MWC21 as an Impact Partner is an exciting next step, and the results will have real and tangible influence.”

MWC21 will be a hybrid event for the first time.  The in-person and virtual options are available so that all MWC Barcelona friends can attend and participate in a way that works for them.

Registration for MWC21 and 4YFN is now open – find out more at

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About GSMA

The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting more than 750 operators with almost 400 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and internet companies, as well as organisations in adjacent industry sectors. The GSMA also produces the industry-leading MWC events held annually in Barcelona, Africa, Los Angeles and Shanghai, as well as the Thrive Series of regional conferences.

For more information, please visit the GSMA corporate website at Follow the GSMA on Twitter: @GSMA.

About UNDP

UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and planet. Learn more at or follow at @UNDP.

Media Contacts:

GSMA Press Office:  [email protected]

UNDP Media contact:  Noeman Alsayyad – [email protected]