PublishedMay 5, 2015

Stakeholders issue recommendations on major UN information society review

Geneva — As delegations convene this week in Geneva to agree on a resolution on the UN’s work on the information society, stakeholders agree on the following set of recommendations:

  • The Resolution should recognise the significant progress achieved by information and communications technologies (ICTs) over the the last 10 years as outlined in the comprehensive CSTD review report.
  • ICT has had a profound impact on knowledge-sharing, innovation, affordable services, competition, sustainable development and economic development in emerging and developed countries.  Users benefit from increased mobile penetration, multi-linguism, e-health, online educational tools, and information access which all help improve quality of life.
  • The Resolution should recall that WSIS provided the mandate for the establishment of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF).  The IGF has demonstrated its value in Internet policy development and become the a globally recognised platform for all stakeholders to exchange best practices and ideas.  The Resolution should take note of the achievements of the IGF and the overwhelming global support for the IGF and recommend renewal of its mandate.
  • The acknowledgement in the Tunis Agenda of the multi-stakeholder approach foresaw the crucial role of stakeholders from civil society, industry, the technical community, governments, and user groups would play in working together to achieve the WSIS goals.  All stakeholders must remain involved in the development and implementation of the WSIS goals and targets.
  • The spirit of a “people centered, inclusive and development-oriented Information Society” that was at the heart of the WSIS remains as relevant today as it was 10 years ago, and should guide WSIS related work post 2015.
  • The WSIS+10 review is an opportunity to recognise the role of ICT in bridging the digital divide and achieving internationally agreed development goals.  More emphasis should be placed on the role of ICT and the Internet in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and the post-2015 development agenda goals.  The assessment of the use of ICTs for the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals.
  • The WSIS process should continue to monitor development of the information society through assessments of progress on the WSIS Action Lines.  The CSTD Resolution should renew our shared commitment and focus the UN’s scarce resources to bridging the digital divide and to capacity building.
  • The Resolution should underscore the important role that the private sector has played in implementing the WSIS goals.  From investing in infrastructure to developing new technologies and online services.
  • The Resolution should call on the UN General Assembly President, the WSIS+10 facilitators, and participants in the WSIS overall review to ensure multi-stakeholder involvement at all stages of discussion in line with the Tunis agenda, including at the High Level Event in December.

The full joint statement, signed by CCIA, the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT), the European Telecommunications Network Operators’ Association (ETNO), EurolSPA and GSMA is available here.

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