83. Building an inclusive
development-oriented Information Society will require unremitting
multi-stakeholder effort. We thus commit ourselves to remain fully engaged —
nationally, regionally and internationally — to ensure sustainable
implementation and follow-up of the outcomes and commitments reached during the WSIS process and its Geneva and Tunis phases of the Summit. Taking into account
the multifaceted nature of building the Information Society, effective
cooperation among governments, private sector, civil society and the United
Nations and other international organizations, according to their different
roles and responsibilities and leveraging on their expertise, is essential.
84. Governments and other
stakeholders should identify those areas where further effort and resources are
required, and jointly identify, and where appropriate develop, implementation
strategies, mechanisms and processes for WSIS outcomes at international,
regional, national and local levels, paying particular attention to people and
groups that are still marginalized in their access to and utilization of ICTs.
85. Taking into consideration the
leading role of governments in partnership with other stakeholders in
implementing the WSIS outcomes, including the Geneva Plan of Action, at the national level, we encourage those governments that have not yet done so to
elaborate, as appropriate, comprehensive, forward-looking and sustainable
national e-strategies, including ICT strategies and sectoral e-strategies as
appropriate*, as an integral part of national development plans
and poverty reduction strategies, as soon as possible and before 2010.
* Throughout this text, further references to “e-strategies” are
interpreted as including also ICT strategies and sectoral e-strategies, as
86. We support
regional and international integration efforts aimed at building a people-centred, inclusive
and development-oriented Information Society, and we reiterate that strong
cooperation within and among regions is indispensable to support knowledge-sharing. Regional cooperation should contribute to national capacity building
and to the development of regional implementation strategies.
87. We affirm that the exchange
of views and sharing of effective practices and resources is essential to
implementing the outcomes of WSIS at the regional and international levels. To
this end, efforts should be made to provide and share, among all stakeholders,
knowledge and know-how, related to the design, implementation, monitoring and
evaluation of e-strategies and policies, as appropriate. We recognize as
fundamental elements to bridging the digital divide in developing countries, in
a sustainable way, poverty reduction, enhanced national capacity building and
the promotion of national technological development.
88. We reaffirm that through the
international cooperation of governments and the partnership of all
stakeholders, it will be possible to succeed in our challenge of harnessing the
potential of ICTs as a tool, at the service of development, to promote the use
of information and knowledge to achieve the internationally agreed development
goals and objectives, including the Millennium Development Goals, as well as to
address the national and local development priorities, thereby further improving
the socio-economic development of all human beings.
89. We are determined to improve
international, regional and national connectivity and affordable access to ICTs
and information through an enhanced international cooperation of all
stakeholders that promotes technology exchange and technology transfer, human
resource development and training, thus increasing the capacity of developing
countries to innovate and to participate fully in, and contribute to, the
90. We reaffirm our commitment
providing equitable access to information and knowledge for all, recognizing the
role of ICTs for economic growth and development. We are committed to working
towards achieving the indicative targets, set out in the Geneva Plan of
Action, that serve as global references for improving connectivity and
universal, ubiquitous, equitable, non-discriminatory and affordable access to,
and use of ICTs, considering different national circumstances, to be achieved by
2015, and to using ICTs, as a tool to achieve the internationally agreed
development goals and objectives, including the Millennium Development Goals,
a) Mainstreaming and aligning
national e-strategies, across local, national, and regional action
plans, as appropriate and in accordance with local and national development
priorities, with in-built time-bound measures.
b) Developing and
implementing enabling policies that reflect national realities and that
promote a supportive international environment, foreign direct investment as
well as the mobilization of domestic resources, in order to promote and foster
entrepreneurship, particularly Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs),
taking into account the relevant market and cultural contexts. These policies
should be reflected in a transparent, equitable regulatory framework to create a
competitive environment to support these goals and strengthen economic growth.
c) Building ICT capacity for all
and confidence in the use of ICTs by all —including youth, older persons, women,
indigenous peoples, people with disabilities, and remote and rural communities —
through the improvement and delivery of relevant education and training
programmes and systems including lifelong and distance learning.
d) Implementing effective training
and education, particularly in ICT science and technology, that motivates
and promotes participation and active involvement of girls and women in the
decision-making process of building the Information Society.
e) Paying special attention to the
formulation of universal design concepts and the use of assistive technologies
that promote access for all persons including those with disabilities.
f) Promoting public policies aimed at
providing affordable access at all levels, including community-level, to
hardware as well as software and connectivity through an increasingly converging
technological environment, capacity building and local content.
g) Improving access to the world’s
health knowledge and telemedicine services, in particular in areas such as
global cooperation in emergency response, access to and networking among health
professionals to help improve quality of life and environmental conditions.
h) Building ICT capacities to
improve access and use of postal networks and services.
i) Using ICTs to improve
access to agricultural knowledge, combat poverty, and support production of
and access to locally relevant agriculture-related content.
j) Developing and implementing
e-government applications based on open standards in order to enhance the
growth and interoperability of e-government systems, at all levels, thereby
furthering access to government information and services, and contributing to
building ICT networks and developing services that are available anywhere and
anytime, to anyone and on any device.
k) Supporting educational,
scientific, and cultural institutions, including libraries, archives and
museums, in their role of developing, providing equitable, open and affordable
access to, and preserving diverse and varied content, including in digital form,
to support informal and formal education, research and innovation; and in
particular supporting libraries in their public-service role of providing free
and equitable access to information and of improving ICT literacy and community
connectivity, particularly in underserved communities.
l) Enhancing the capacity of
communities in all regions to develop content in local and/or indigenous
m) Strengthening the creation of
quality e-content, at national, regional and international levels.
n) Promoting the use of
traditional and new media in order to foster universal access to
information, culture and knowledge for all people, especially vulnerable
populations and populations in developing countries and using, inter alia, radio and television as educational and learning tools.
o) Reaffirming the
independence, pluralism and diversity of media, and freedom of information
including through, as appropriate, the development of domestic legislation, we
reiterate our call for the responsible use and treatment of information by the
media in accordance with the highest ethical and professional standards. We
reaffirm the necessity of reducing international imbalances affecting the media,
particularly as regards infrastructure, technical resources and the development
of human skills. These reaffirmations are made with reference to Geneva
Declaration of Principles paragraphs 55 to 59.
p) Strongly encouraging ICT
enterprises and entrepreneurs to develop and use environment-friendly production
processes in order to minimize the negative impacts of the use and
manufacture of ICTs and disposal of ICT waste on people and the environment. In
this context, it is important to give particular attention to the specific needs
of the developing countries.
q) Incorporating regulatory,
self-regulatory, and other effective policies and frameworks to protect children
and young people from abuse and exploitation through ICTs into national
plans of action and e-strategies.
r) Promoting the development of
advanced research networks, at national, regional and international levels,
in order to improve collaboration in science, technology and higher education.
s) Promoting voluntary service,
at the community level, to help maximize the developmental impact of ICTs.
t) Promoting the use of ICTs to
enhance flexible ways of working, including teleworking, leading to
greater productivity and job creation.
91. We recognize the intrinsic
relationship between disaster reduction, sustainable development and the
eradication of poverty and that disasters seriously undermine investment in a
very short time and remain a major impediment to sustainable development and
poverty eradication. We are clear as to the important enabling role of ICTs at
the national, regional and international levels, including:
a) Promoting technical
cooperation and enhancing the capacity of countries, particularly developing
countries, in utilizing ICT tools for disaster early-warning, management and
emergency communications, including dissemination of understandable warnings to
those at risk.
b) Promoting regional and
international cooperation for easy access to and sharing of information for
disaster management, and exploring modalities for the easier participation of
c) Working expeditiously towards
the establishment of standards-based monitoring and worldwide early-warning
systems linked to national and regional networks and facilitating emergency
disaster response all over the world, particularly in high-risk regions.
92. We encourage countries,
including all other interested parties, to make available child helplines,
taking into account the need for mobilization of appropriate resources. For this
purpose, easy-to-remember numbers, accessible from all phones and free of
charge, should be made available.
93. We seek to digitize our
historical data and cultural heritage for the benefit of future generations. We
encourage effective information management policies in the public and private
sectors, including the use of standards-based digital archiving and innovative
solutions to overcome technological obsolescence, as a means to ensure long-term
preservation of, and continued access to, information.
94. We acknowledge that everyone
should benefit from the potential that the Information Society offers.
Therefore, we invite governments to assist, on a voluntary basis, those
countries affected by any unilateral measure not in accordance with
international law and the Charter of the United Nations that impedes
the full achievement of economic and social development by the population of the
affected countries, and that hinders the well-being of their population.
95. We call upon international
and intergovernmental organizations to develop, within approved resources, their
policy analysis and capacity-building programmes, based on practical and
replicable experiences of ICT matters, policies and actions that have led to
economic growth and poverty alleviation, including through the improved
competitiveness of enterprises.
96. We recall the importance of
creating a trustworthy, transparent and non-discriminatory legal, regulatory and
policy environment. To that end, we reiterate that ITU and other regional
organizations should take steps to ensure rational, efficient and economic use
of, and equitable access to, the radio-frequency spectrum by all countries,
based on relevant international agreements.
97. We acknowledge that
multi-stakeholder participation is essential to the successful building of a
people-centred, inclusive and development-oriented Information Society and that
governments could play an important role in this process. We underline that the participation of all stakeholders in implementing WSIS outcomes, and
following them up on national, regional and international levels with the
overarching goal of helping countries to achieve internationally agreed
development goals and objectives, including the Millennium Development Goals, is
key to that success.
98. We encourage strengthened and
continuing cooperation between and among stakeholders to ensure effective
implementation of the Geneva and Tunis outcomes: for instance, through the
promotion of national, regional and international multi-stakeholder partnerships
including Public Private Partnerships (PPPs), and the promotion of national and
regional multi-stakeholder thematic platforms, in a joint effort and dialogue
with developing and less developed countries, development partners and actors in
the ICT sector. In that respect, we welcome partnerships such as the ITU-led
Connect the World initiative.
99. We agree to ensure the
sustainability of progress towards the goals of WSIS after the completion of its
Tunis phase and we decide, therefore, to establish a mechanism for
implementation and follow-up at national, regional and international levels.
At the national level, based
on the WSIS outcomes, we encourage governments, with the participation of all
stakeholders and bearing in mind the importance of an enabling environment, to
set up a national implementation mechanism, in which:
e-strategies, where appropriate, should be an integral part of national
development plans, including Poverty Reduction Strategies, aiming to contribute
to the achievement of internationally agreed development goals and objectives,
including the Millennium Development Goals.
b) ICTs should be fully
mainstreamed into strategies for Official Development Assistance (ODA) through
more effective information-sharing and coordination among development partners,
and through analysis and sharing of best practices and lessons learned from
experience with ICT for development programmes.
c) Existing bilateral
and multilateral technical assistance programmes, including those under the UN
Development Assistance Framework, should be used whenever appropriate to assist
governments in their implementation efforts at the national level.
d) Common Country Assessment
Reports should contain a component on ICT for development.
At the regional level:
a) Upon request from governments,
regional intergovernmental organizations in collaboration with other
stakeholders should carry out WSIS implementation activities, exchanging
information and best practices at the regional level, as well as facilitating
policy debate on the use of ICT for development, with a focus on attaining the
internationally agreed development goals and objectives, including the
Millennium Development Goals.
b) UN Regional Commissions, based
on request of Member States and within approved budgetary resources, may
organize regional WSIS follow-up activities in collaboration with regional and
sub-regional organizations, with appropriate frequency, as well as assisting
members states with technical and relevant information for the development of
regional strategies and the implementation of the outcomes of regional
c) We consider a
multi-stakeholder approach and the participation in regional WSIS implementation
activities by the private sector, civil society, and the United Nations and
other international organizations to be essential.
At the international level, bearing in mind the importance of the enabling environment:
a) Implementation and
follow-up of the outcomes of the Geneva and Tunis phases of the Summit
should take into account the main themes and action lines in the Summit
b) Each UN agency should act
according to its mandate and competencies, and pursuant to decisions of their
respective governing bodies, and within existing approved resources.
c) Implementation and follow-up
should include intergovernmental and multi-stakeholder components.
103. We invite UN agencies and
other intergovernmental organizations, in line with UNGA Resolution 57/270 B,
to facilitate activities among different stakeholders, including civil society
and the business sector, to help national governments in their implementation
efforts. We request the UN Secretary-General, in consultation with members of
the UN system Chief Executives Board for coordination (CEB), to establish within
the CEB, a UN group on the Information Society consisting of the relevant UN
bodies and organizations with the mandate to facilitate the implementation of
WSIS outcomes and to suggest to CEB that, in considering lead agency(ies) of
this group, it takes into consideration the experience of and activities in the
WSIS process undertaken by ITU, UNESCO and UNDP.
104. We further request the UN
Secretary-General to report to the UNGA through ECOSOC by June 2006, on the
modalities of the interagency coordination of the implementation of WSIS
outcomes including recommendations on the follow-up process.
105. We request that ECOSOC
oversees the system-wide follow-up of the Geneva and Tunis outcomes of WSIS. To
this end, we request that ECOSOC, at its substantive session of 2006, reviews
the mandate, agenda and composition of the Commission on Science and Technology
for Development (CSTD), including considering the strengthening of the
Commission, taking into account the multi-stakeholder approach.
106. WSIS implementation and
follow-up should be an integral part of the UN integrated follow-up to major UN
conferences and should contribute to the achievement of internationally agreed
development goals and objectives, including the Millennium Development Goals. It
should not require the creation of any new operational bodies.
107. International and regional
organizations, should assess and report regularly on universal accessibility of
nations to ICTs, with the aim of creating equitable opportunities for the growth
of ICT sectors of developing countries.
108. We attach great importance
to multi-stakeholder implementation at the international level, which should be
organized taking into account the themes and action lines in the Geneva Plan
of Action, and moderated or facilitated by UN agencies when appropriate. An
Annex to this document offers an indicative and non-exhaustive list of
facilitators/ moderators for the action lines of the Geneva Plan of Action.
109. The experience of, and the
activities undertaken by, UN agencies in the WSIS process — notably ITU, UNESCO
and UNDP — should continue to be used to their fullest extent. These three
agencies should play leading facilitating roles in the implementation of the
Geneva Plan of Action and organize a meeting of
moderators/facilitators of action lines, as mentioned in the Annex.
110. The coordination of
multi-stakeholder implementation activities would help to avoid duplication of
activities. This should include, inter alia, information exchange,
creation of knowledge, sharing of best practices, and assistance in developing
multi-stakeholder and public/private partnerships.
111. We request the United
Nations General Assembly (UNGA) to make an overall review of the implementation
of WSIS outcomes in 2015.
112. We call for periodic
evaluation, using an agreed methodology, such as described in paragraphs
113. Appropriate indicators
and benchmarking, including community connectivity indicators, should clarify
the magnitude of the digital divide, in both its domestic and international
dimensions, and keep it under regular assessment, and track global progress in
the use of ICTs to achieve internationally agreed development goals and
objectives, including the Millennium Development Goals.
114. The development of ICT
indicators is important for measuring the digital divide. We note the launch, in
June 2004, of the Partnership on Measuring ICT for Development, and its
a) to develop a common set
of core ICT indicators; to increase the availability of internationally
comparable ICT statistics as well as to establish a mutually agreed framework
for their elaboration, for further consideration and decision by the UN
b) to promote capacity
building in developing countries for monitoring the Information Society;
c) to assess the current and
potential impact of ICTs on development, poverty reduction;
d) to develop specific
gender-disaggregated indicators to measure the digital divide
in its various dimensions.
115. We also note the launch of
the ICT Opportunity Index and the Digital Opportunity Index, which
will build upon the common set of core ICT indicators as they were defined
within the Partnership on Measuring the ICT for Development.
116. We stress that all indices
and indicators must take into account different levels of development and
117. The further development
of these indicators should be undertaken in a collaborative, cost-effective and
118. We invite the international
community to strengthen the statistical capacity of developing countries by
giving appropriate support at national and regional levels.
119. We commit ourselves to
review and follow up progress in bridging the digital divide, taking into
account the different levels of development among nations, so as to achieve the
internationally agreed development goals and objectives, including the
Millennium Development Goals, assessing the effectiveness of investment and
international cooperation efforts in building the Information Society,
identifying gaps as well as deficits
in investment and devising strategies to address them.
120. The sharing of information
related to the implementation of WSIS outcomes is an important element of
evaluation. We note with appreciation the Report on the Stocktaking of WSIS-related
activities, which will serve as one of the valuable tools for assisting with
the follow-up, beyond the conclusion of the Tunis phase of the Summit, as well
as the Golden Book of initiatives launched during the Tunis phase. We
encourage all WSIS stakeholders to continue to contribute information on their
activities to the public WSIS stocktaking database, maintained by ITU. In this
regard, we invite all countries to gather information at the national level
with the involvement of all stakeholders, to contribute to the stocktaking.
121. There is a need to build
more awareness of the Internet in order to make it a global facility which is
truly available to the public. We call upon the UNGA to declare 17 May as World
Information Society Day to help to raise awareness, on an annual basis, of
the importance of this global facility, on the issues dealt with in the Summit,
especially the possibilities that the use of ICTs can bring for societies and
economies, as well as of ways to bridge the digital divide.
122. We request the
Secretary-General of the Summit to report to the General Assembly of the United
Nations on its outcome, as requested in UNGA Resolution 59/220.
Tunis, 18 November 2005