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Archived Newsroom • Press Release


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:

  1. 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

  2. The GEM-TECH Awards 2015: Gender empowerment through ICTs
    Monday 14 December, 6.00pm-8.00pm
    Civic Hall, New York

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

Join the conversation on Twitter at #WSIS #WSIS10 #ICT4SDG and Twitter handles @ITU, @UN_PGA, and @WSISProcess

Note to editors:

ITU is the sole Facilitator of Action Lines C2 (Information and communication infrastructure) and C5 (Building confidence and security in the use of ICTs); upon UNDP’s request ITU accepted to play the role of Facilitator of Action Line C6 (Enabling Environment), and is actively engaged in the implementation of Action Lines C1, C3, C4, C7 and C11 as co-facilitator and partner for C8 and C9. In addition ITU, along with UNESCO and UNDP, is playing the role of lead facilitating agency for implementation of Geneva Plan of Action, providing the platform for coordination among all UN agencies in charge of the WSIS Action Lines. ITU is also the rotating Chair of the UN Group on the Information Society and Lead of the Partnership on Measuring ICTs for Development.

Each year, ITU hosts and co-organizes with its sister agencies the WSIS Forum, where the activities and projects of the WSIS Action Lines are reported and future activities are discussed in a multi-stakeholder format. With the aim of drawing the attention of the global community to good practices and ongoing projects, the first set of projects nominated for the WSIS Prize contest will be released on 14th December 2015, on the occasion of the WSIS+10 HLM.


For more information please contact:

In Geneva In New York
Paul Conneally
Head, Corporate Communications, ITU
tel +41 22 730 5016
mobile +41 79 592 5668
tel paul.conneally@itu.int
Jaroslaw Ponder
Strategy & Policy Advisor, ITU
tel +41 22 730 6065
mobile +41 79 599 1405
tel jaroslaw.ponder@itu.int

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