WSIS Forum 2012 launches 10-year review to measure goals set at UN
World Summit on the Information Society
Geneva, 14 May 2012 — Stakeholders from government, civil
society and the private sector are meeting in Geneva this week to agree on an
effective and meaningful review process (WSIS+10) for measuring progress towards
targets set in 2005 in
Tunis at the
UN World Summit on the
Information Society (WSIS), and to forge a common vision for new actions
Co-organized by ITU, UNESCO, UNCTAD and UNDP, the WSIS Forum 2012 event
(14-18 May) is the world’s largest annual gathering of the ‘ICT for development’
community. It aims to define strategies and tactics to help countries and
organizations more effectively harness the power of information and
communication technologies (ICTs) to accelerate progress towards the Millennium
Development Goals, now just three years away.
Topics on the agenda include rural development, ICT infrastructure,
cybersecurity, multilingualism, environmental sustainability, education,
healthcare and innovation. Over 1,500 representatives from around 150 countries
are expected to attend the week-long event, which comprises almost 140 sessions.
High-level speakers at the opening ceremony, which took place this morning at
the headquarters of the International Labour Organization, included Ministers
and deputies from over 35 countries, including Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria,
Azerbaijan, Belgium, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Gambia, Ghana, Iran, Japan, Jordan,
Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Mexico, Montenegro, Oman, Poland, Qatar, Saudi Arabia,
Serbia, South Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates.
They were joined on the podium by Dr Hamadoun Touré, Secretary-General, ITU;
Supachai Panitchpakdi, Secretary-General, UNCTAD; Juan Somavia,
Director-General, ILO; Janis Karklins, Assistant Director-General, UNESCO; H.E.
Ambassador Obaid Salem Saeed Al Zaabi, Permanent Representative, United Arab
Emirates; John Davies, Vice-President, Intel Corporation and General Manager of
Intel’s World Ahead Program; and Cyril Ritchie, President of the Conference on
NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the UN (CoNGO).
In his opening address, Dr Touré confirmed that the Plan of Action for the
Overall Review of the Implementation of the WSIS Outcomes (WSIS+10) has been
endorsed by the Chief Executives Board of the United Nations, with ITU accorded
the leading managerial role in terms of responsibility for the WSIS+10 Review
Process. “This is a clear demonstration that ICTs continue to remain right at
the top of country-level agendas – and it is our responsibility to ensure that
they continue to stay there up to and beyond 2015,” said Dr Touré.
The opening ceremony also saw the awarding of WSIS Project Prizes to 18
distinguished winners from around the world, recognizing projects that have made
an outstanding contribution to the WSIS implementation.
The opening session was followed by a Ministerial Round Table on the topic of
WSIS: Achievements, Challenges and the Way Beyond 2015, which welcomed Ministers
and top officials from 35 countries and territories including Afghanistan,
Albania, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Burkina Faso, Burundi, France, Gambia,
Ghana, Iran, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Mexico, Montenegro, Oman,
Palestine, Poland, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, South Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia,
the United Arab Emirates, the USA and Zambia.
High-level Dialogues on Tuesday 15th and Wednesday 16th will cover:
- Governance of Cyberspace and Cyberpeace
- Advancing the Green Agenda
- Women & Girls in ICT
- ICTs for Post-conflict Reconstruction
Encompassing an increasingly popular exhibition component, the Forum offers
delegates a diverse range of meetings and activities, including Interactive WSIS
Action Line Meetings, Action Line Facilitator’s Meetings, Interactive Sessions,
Country and Thematic Workshops and Knowledge Exchanges. Afternoon sessions each
day will also feature the release of a number of new publications and briefings
from participating organizations. The
WSIS Forum 2012 programme also includes meetings of the Internet Governance
The WSIS agenda is the result of a comprehensive open consultation process
involving all stakeholders. Spanning six phases, this year’s process welcomed
150 contributions from 50 countries.
Remote participation is an integral component of the event. Each session can
be joined remotely at:
Live and archived webcasts of key sessions can be viewed at:
This year’s WSIS Forum programme has been further strengthened thanks to the
strategic partnership and contribution of the United Arab Emirates (government)
and Intel Corporation (private sector). The Forum has also benefited from
contributions by partners including Belgium-Liege, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, Oman,
Poland, Saudi Arabia, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.
Videos, photos, live and archived webcasts, and transcripts of speeches can
be found at the WSIS Forum 2012 Newsroom at
www.itu.int/net/pressoffice/wsis/index.aspx, or on the main event website at
For more information, please contact:
Media Relations, ITU
Strategy & Policy Advisor, ITU
The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) is a UN
process that was initiated in two unique phases in order to
create an evolving multi-stakeholder platform aimed at promoting
Information Society at the national, regional and international
levels. The goal of WSIS is to achieve a common vision, desire
and commitment to build a people-centric, inclusive and
development-oriented Information Society where everyone can
create, access, utilize and share information. The Final Review
of this process will take place in 2015.