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Top UN Board supports ongoing implementation of World
Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) process

Role of ICTs seen as critical in achieving sustainable development goals

New York, 15 December 2015 – The United Nations Chief Executives Board (CEB), comprising of heads of UN agencies, today issued its resounding support for the WSIS process. In particular, they endorsed the pivotal role of ICTs in driving progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In a joint statement to the United Nations General Assembly on the overall review of the implementation of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS+10), the CEB drew a direct relationship between the WSIS process and the “momentous” adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It reaffirmed the important role of information and communication technologies (ICT) as a critical enabler for advancing the globally agreed development goals.

The statement noted that “the spread of information and communication technology and global interconnectedness has great potential to accelerate human progress and to develop knowledge societies” and underlined the critical importance of the SDG targets on the use of ICTs for the empowerment of women and education as well as on access to ICTs for least developed countries (LDCs).

The CEB stated that the WSIS vision has never been as valid and that the entire UN system is fully committed to reinvigorate collaborative action to harness the power of new technologies in promoting sustainable development and making the goal of universal and affordable access to ICTs and knowledge a reality.

Coherence across the United Nations system in the implementation of multiple goals and commitments is essential according to the CEB and, in this regard, it reaffirmed the role of the United Nations Group on the Information Society (UNGIS) as the inter-agency coordination mechanism for issues related to the implementation of the outcomes of WSIS. The CEB called on UNGIS to include in its strategic priority the alignment between WSIS implementation and the implementation of the SDGs.

The CEB emphasized that the WSIS Forum has evolved as an efficient mechanism for multi-stakeholder implementation of the WSIS action lines and cross-cutting commitments on gender equality, information exchange, knowledge creation and the sharing of best practices.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon stated “We will strengthen the WSIS Forum as a key platform for discussing the role of ICTs as a means of implementation of the SDGs and targets.. ’The goals and targets have been set out in General Assembly resolution A/70/1.

ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao said, “Beyond 2015, following the multistakeholder approach, the WSIS Forum, will build upon the outcomes of the WSIS+10 Review and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  In this regard the WSIS-SDG Matrix developed by UN WSIS Action line Facilitators will serve as the mechanism to map, analyse and coordinate the implementation of ICTs as enablers and accelerators of the SDGs.”

For more information, please contact

Paul Conneally
Head, Corporate Communications, ITU
telephone +41 22 730 5601
mobile +41 79 5925668
email paul.conneally@itu.int 

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