Global '€˜ICT for development'€™ community meets to decide on strategies beyond 2015

WSIS process is key to harnessing potential of ICTs to accelerate human progress and achieve SDG 2030 Agenda

New York, 14 December 2015 – Ten years after the UN World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), delegates from UN Member States and observer entities are meeting in New York this week to identify emerging trends, fresh priorities and innovations for advancing the ‘ICT for development’ agenda, while strengthening the impact of ICTs as an enabler of sustainable development.

Convened by UN General Assembly President Mogens Lykketoft, in close collaboration with lead agencies ITU, UNESCO, UNCTAD and UNDP, the WSIS+10 High-Level Meeting (HLM) will result in an Outcome Document underscoring the importance of ICTs for sustainable development and the need to promote equal access to ICTs and broadband Internet in both developed and developing countries.

In addition to bridging the digital divide, the WSIS+10 HLM – as the concluding milestone of the Overall Review of the Implementation of the Outcomes of WSIS – will address issues of cybersecurity, Internet governance, human rights on the Internet, as well as areas of future actions to ensure a people-centred inclusive and development-oriented Information Society.

It is the largest and most comprehensive review of the WSIS goals, targets and process since the Summit, organized by ITU in a multi-stakeholder set up, was held in two phases, in 2003 (Geneva) and 2005 (Tunis).

“The WSIS Process is where the real grass roots work is being done. It is where people gather if they believe in effectively using ICTs for sustainable development,” said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao. “WSIS has been a major driver of socio-economic development by providing a tangible, global framework for harnessing the tremendous power of ICTs, and I am confident that it will play an even greater role in achieving the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development acknowledges that global interconnectedness has great potential to accelerate human progress, to bridge digital divides and to develop knowledge societies. ICTs have become an essential part of long-term social and economic development, but progress will depend on strong, resilient, available, secure and trustworthy communications infrastructure and services. As the UN specialized agency for ICTs, promoting access to ICTs – through globally agreed technical standards , collaborative global spectrum management and ICT-focused development activities – is ITU's core mandate.

The HLM will conclude on 16 December with an Outcome Document which will serve as a road map for ongoing efforts to put ICTs at the heart of new development strategies, where they can serve as an important accelerator of access to education and health care, e-government services, environmental monitoring, women’s empowerment, and more.

WSIS remains the unique global platform for broad multi-stakeholder coordination of implementation of ‘ICT4D’ activities, projects, and initiatives. It helps countries, private sector organizations and civil society groups develop and implement strategies and tactics to more effectively harness the power of ICTs to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The annual WSIS Forum, to be held from 2 to 6 May 2016 in Geneva, will build on the WSIS+10 Outcomes and WSIS-SDG Matrix while looking toward concrete solutions strengthening the impact ICTs in advancing achievement of SDGs.

In addition to participation in the main WSIS+10 HLM meeting, ITU is convening and/or participating in five side events:

  • WSIS+10 & Implementation: Strengthening the impact of WSIS Action Lines for sustainable development: Showcasing best practices, transferring know-how, fostering partnerships

    Monday 14 December, 1.15pm-2.30pm Conference Room # 11

  • The GEM-TECH Awards 2015: Gender empowerment through ICTs

    Monday 14 December, 6.00pm-8.00pm Civic Hall, New York

  • WSIS+10 & Gender: Women's Empowerment in the Digital Age: Implementing WSIS Outcome and Agenda 2030

    Tuesday 15 December, 1.15pm-2.30pm Conference Room # 6

  • WSIS+10 & Measurement: Partnership on Measuring ICT for Development: Measuring the Information Society: ICT Data for Policy Making and Evaluation

    Tuesday 15 December, 3.00pm-6.00pm Conference Room A

  • WSIS+10 & Action Lines: Enabling a Trusted Connected World

    Wednesday 16 December, 1.15pm-2.30pm Conference Room # 7

Access to all side events is freely available to accredited media.

More information is available on the event website here . Information on the WSIS+10 Review Process is available here .

A social media toolkit is available here .

Photos of the event are available on Flickr here .

An annual report on ITU’s contribution to the implementation of WSIS Outcomes is available here .

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