The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), which was held in Geneva in 2003 and in Tunis in 2005, drew up an action plan to bridge the digital divide and build an inclusive, people-oriented information society. World leaders committed themselves to regularly review and follow up progress in implementing the action lines outlined in the WSIS Outcomes.
The United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) resolution 2015/26 "Assessment of the progress made in the implementation of - and follow up to the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society" , that reiterates the importance of sharing best practices at the global level, and, while recognizing excellence in the implementation of the projects and initiatives that further the goals of the World Summit, encourages all stakeholders to nominate their projects for the annual World Summit project prizes, as an integral part of the WSIS Stocktaking process, while noting the report on the WSIS success stories.
The outcome document of the UNGA High-level Meeting on the overall review of the implementation of the outcomes of WSIS recognized the importance of reporting and sharing of best practices for the implementation of WSIS outcomes by all stakeholders beyond 2015, recognizing the WSIS Forum as a key platform for doing it. In this context the WSIS Stocktaking process plays a strategic role in supporting WSIS Forum in its endeavour.
Moreover the WSIS Overall Review called for close alignment between the WSIS process and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, highlighting the cross-cutting contribution of ICTs to the Sustainable Development Goals. In this context also the WSIS Stocktaking evolves into the unique global process for collection of information on actions carried out in context of WSIS, while underlining their contribution to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Until 2016, WSIS Stocktaking Reports have reviewed more than 8,000 activities from around the world carried out by international organizations, governments, the private sector, civil society and other stakeholders. The WSIS Stocktaking community now comprises of close to 200,000 stakeholders.
Since 2004, in response to § 120 of the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society, ITU has maintained the public WSIS stocktaking database as valuable tool for collecting information and regular reporting on ICT-related initiatives and projects with reference to the 11 WSIS Action Lines and outcomes. Its purpose is to provide a register of activities carried out by governments, international organizations, the business sector, civil society and other entities, in order to highlight the progress made since that landmark event.
The principal role of the WSIS Stocktaking exercise is to collect information, share knowledge and experiences and leverage the activities of stakeholders working on the implementation of WSIS outcomes and. In this context, WSIS Stocktaking process provides a portal of best practices for stakeholders seeking updated information on the progress of implementation of WSIS outcomes.
Since October 2004, the WSIS Stocktaking Platform has served as a global repository for collecting and reporting on ICT-related projects which implement the WSIS Outcomes. It has also proved to be an efficient mechanism for sharing best practices towards advancing development goals, a role that will continue to be of value in the post-2015 era.
The platform offers stakeholders exciting and interactive networking opportunities; all types of stakeholders can benefit from the database, the global events calendar, the global repository, blog, online forum that tend to extend networking and create partnerships in order to provide more visibility and add value to projects at the local, national, regional and international levels.
By identifying trends in implementing the WSIS Outcomes, the WSIS stocktaking process contributes significantly towards building an inclusive Information Society. We hope that the best practices reflected on this platform will serve as models to be replicated around the world, and will encourage stakeholders to move forward towards achieving the WSIS goals. We extend sincere gratitude to all stakeholders who have been engaged in the WSIS Stocktaking Process, sharing their contributions towards achieving the WSIS goals since 2004. Even as we continue to face many challenges, opportunities also abound towards achieving a fully inclusive information society.