Speech from Mr Houlin Zhao, ITU
Thank you Mr. Chairman for giving me the
opportunity to report on the implementation of the Action Lines facilitated by
In line with paragraph 109 of the Tunis Agenda, and as Leading
Facilitating Agency, I would also like to report on the outcomes of the third
Action Line Facilitators meeting held on 23rd May.
As ITU has already contributed extensively to the Secretary-general’s Report
on progress made in the implementation – and follow-up – of the outcomes of the
WSIS, I am not going to report on the activities already covered by this
document. Instead, I would like to take this opportunity to highlight the
outcomes of the successful facilitation meetings organized by the Union last
In organizing the Action Line Facilitation meetings this year, ITU was guided by the following objectives:
Attendance at these meetings was good and I am happy to say that – though
they present challenges – we are extremely pleased by the outcomes of the Action
Line Facilitation meetings.
The Action Line C2 meeting was particularly successful in attracting new
people. One of its innovations this year was the organization of an
“Ambassadors’ Round Table” followed by a dynamic discussion with stakeholders.
The Action Line C6 meeting was organized for the first time by ITU as the Union took over the lead facilitator’s role. The meeting was an opportunity for ITU, UNCTAD, IGF, the private sector, regulators and NGO to recognize:
The meeting also focused on infrastructure sharing at both national and
international levels, drawing upon the major outcomes of the last ITU Global
Symposium for Regulators, held in March 2008 in Thailand.
The Action Line C7 on e-environment was organized jointly with UNEP.
Particular attention was given to the strong, positive role that ICT can play in
combating climate change, both in terms of achieving greater efficiency in its
own sector, as well as serving as an enabling technology for energy reductions
in other sectors. This meeting kicked off the facilitation of this important
Action Line. ITU is pleased that UNEP is considering taking the lead role in the
Lastly, ITU organized a two-day meeting on Action Line C5. An innovative
feature of the first day of this meeting was the organization of interactive
panel sessions directed at current and emerging threats and solutions.
Multi-stakeholder panels, made up of world renowned cybersecurity experts from
governments, industry, international organizations, academia and civil society
debated and exchanged views on cybersecurity issues and possibilities while
encouraging open and dynamic discussions with the rest of the participants. The
second day was dedicated to stakeholders’ presentations on initiatives, followed
by discussions focused on identifying goals and effective performance
measurement and reporting mechanisms – all with an eye towards building security
and confidence in the use of ICTs. There were specific proposals to boost trust
through technical solutions, legal and technical frameworks, awareness raising
activities, and partnership building.
Last Friday we also held the third meeting of Action Line Facilitators. The
primary objectives of the meeting were to exchange information among
facilitators and other stakeholders on the Action Line Facilitation process, and
to identify ways to improve the process.
It was a candid, but extremely productive meeting.
The results of this meeting will be conveyed to the next UNGIS meeting to be
held in September. We also decided that ITU, together with UNESCO, UNDP and the
other UN agencies, will hold an open consultation to discuss ways to further
improve the cluster of WSIS-related events and to determine concrete measures.
We have already decided that the next cluster will take place in Geneva in May
of next year.
As mentioned by ITU Secretary-General in his opening speech, if we are to meet the WSIS goals, we need to be more daring. Let’s organize dynamic and forward-looking Action Line meetings that will help us to grab the attention of decision makers and highlight our efforts to build an inclusive information Society.
I thank you for your attention.