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Press Release: World Summit on the Information Society Forum 2017

World Summit on the Information Society Forum 2017

Advances global support of ICTs for SDGs




Geneva, 23 June 2017

A significant stride forward was achieved last week by the information and communication technology (ICT) for development community at the World Summit on the Information Society Forum 2017 (WSIS Forum 2017), attended by more than 2,000 stakeholders from 163 countries. Participants came together to share experiences, knowledge and perspectives; and to announce new tools and initiatives to use ICTs to advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in such critical areas as ICT-centric innovation, accessibility, gender equality, youth empowerment, e-health and cyber security among many others.

WSIS Forum 2017 was held 12-16 June in Geneva, and included the participation of more than 85 high-level government and civil society representatives, as well as 500 remote interventions and thousands following the webcast. The forum was chaired by Mr Jean Philbert Nsengimana, Minister of Youth and ICT, Government of Rwanda, and co-organized by ITU, UNESCO, UNCTAD and UNDP, in close collaboration with all UN agencies.

"I congratulate the global WSIS community on another successful forum. The progress made here in Geneva last week – whether on providing five million youths with digital skills, improving digital accessibility, or giving countries the tools to advance their digitalization – will be felt around the globe. It was a clear demonstration of the important role that ICT plays in realizing the SDGs and improving livelihoods," said ITU Secretary General Houlin Zhao.

The concrete outcomes of WSIS Forum 2017 will enable stakeholders to strengthen implementation of WSIS Action Lines and the alignment of the WSIS and SDG processes. These actions included:

WSIS Forum 2017 was also an opportunity for partnerships to be forged and valuable tools and initiatives to be launched. These include, among others:

Plans were also made for engaging WSIS Forum 2018 activities including:

The forum also included the announcement of the WSIS Prizes 2017 winners and champions, which represented all seven continents and all five WSIS stakeholder groups.

The following WSIS Forum 2017 information will become available this week, and will be accessible on the WSIS Forum website.

WSIS Forum 2017 was made possible through the generous support of its strategic partner, the World's Global Telecom; activity sponsors Japan, Switzerland and IEE; contributing partners the Office of Electronic Communications of the Republic of Poland, the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA), GeSI, ICANN, the Internet Society (ISOC), and VEON; and supporting partners, including the Philippines, IFIP, CMAI, TEMA India and Swiss Engineering.

Learn more about the WSIS Forum 2017 outcomes in this video interview with WSIS Coordinator Gitanjali Sah:bit.ly/WSIS2017-video-outcomes

View WSIS Forum 2017 photos: bit.ly/itu-photos

View WSIS Forum videos, interviews and highlights: bit.ly/WSIS2017-videos

For more information about the WSIS Forum process, please visit bit.ly/WSIS2017 .