Representatives of the world's leading digital governments, the D9, gathered in Jerusalem on Thursday to sign a charter expressing their commitment to share best practices and expertise.
Israel, the United Kingdom, Canada, Estonia, South Korea, New Zealand, Uruguay and new member states Mexico and Portugal make up the D9
, which meets annually to share best practice, identify how to improve digital services, collaborate on common projects and support their growing digital economies.
The network of leading digital nations was established in 2014 in London by five founding members, including Israel. This week, the Jewish state hosted the annual meeting for the first time.
"The State of Israel is a digital leader and one of the founders of the forum, and the occasion of signing the international charter is exciting and important," said Social Equality Minister Gila Gamliel after signing the charter.
"The status of signing the international charter is exciting and important. The alignment of the digital countries with regard to the treatment of citizens and the advance of government for narrowing the gaps through technology are goals that I defined when I took responsibility for the national Digital Israel project," she added.
"Through today's signing, we are placing Israel at the forefront of the world in this respect."
Under the charter, participants commit to working towards principles of digital development including the design of public services according to user needs, open markets, open and transparent government, a commitment to teach to children to code and to support all citizens to access digital services.
"Today we have reaffirmed the UK’s commitment to a closer partnership between the world’s leading digital governments, including Israel, transforming the way citizens interact with governments," said British Ambassador to Israel David Quarrey.
The digital partnership looks set to grow again in the coming years after participants agreed to launch a joint working group to establish principles and arrangements for expanding the circle of countries involved.