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Plan of Action – Geneva 2003

D.    Digital Solidarity Agenda

27.    The Digital Solidarity Agenda aims at putting in place the conditions for mobilizing human, financial and technological resources for inclusion of all men and women in the emerging Information Society. Close national, regional and international cooperation among all stakeholders in the implementation of this Agenda is vital. To overcome the digital divide, we need to use more efficiently existing approaches and mechanisms and fully explore new ones, in order to provide financing for the development of infrastructure, equipment, capacity building and content, which are essential for participation in the Information Society.

D1.    Priorities and strategies

a)    National e-strategies should be made an integral part of national development plans, including Poverty Reduction Strategies.

b)    ICTs should be fully mainstreamed into strategies for Official Development Assistance (ODA) through more effective donor information-sharing and coordination, and through analysis and sharing of best practices and lessons learned from experience with ICT for development programmes.

D2.    Mobilizing resources

a)    All  countries  and  international  organizations  should  act  to  create  conditions  conducive to increasing the availability and effective mobilization of resources for financing development as elaborated in the Monterrey Consensus.

b)    Developed countries should make concrete efforts to fulfill their international commitments to financing development including the Monterrey Consensus,  in which developed countries that have not done so are urged to make concrete efforts towards the target of 0.7 per cent of Gross National Product (GNP) as ODA to developing countries and 0.15 to 0.20 per cent of GNP of developed countries to least developed countries.

c)    For those developing countries facing unsustainable debt burdens, we welcome  initiatives that have been undertaken to reduce outstanding indebtedness and invite further national and international measures in that regard, including, as appropriate, debt cancellation and other arrangements. Particular attention should be given to enhancing the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries initiative. These initiatives would release more resources that may be used for financing ICT for development projects.

d)    Recognizing the potential of ICT for development, we furthermore advocate:

i.    developing countries to increase their efforts to attract major private national and foreign investments for ICTs through the creation of a transparent, stable and predictable enabling investment environment;

ii.    developed countries and international financial organizations to be responsive to the strategies and priorities of ICTs for development, mainstream ICTs in their work programmes, and assist developing countries and countries with economies in transition to prepare and implement their national e-strategies. Based on the priorities of national development plans and implementation of the above commitments, developed countries should increase their efforts to provide more financial resources to developing countries in harnessing ICTs for development;

iii.    the private sector to contribute to the implementation of this Digital Solidarity Agenda.

e)    In our efforts to bridge the digital divide, we should promote, within our development cooperation, technical and financial assistance directed towards national and regional capacity building, technology transfer on mutually agreed terms, cooperation in R&D programmes and exchange of know-how.

f)    While all existing financial mechanisms should be fully exploited, a thorough review of their adequacy in meeting the challenges of ICT for development should be completed by the end of December 2004. This review shall be conducted by a Task Force under the auspices of the Secretary-General of the United Nations and submitted for consideration to the second phase of this Summit. Based on the conclusion of the review, improvements and innovations of financing mechanisms will be considered including the effectiveness, the feasibility and the creation of a voluntary Digital Solidarity Fund, as mentioned in the Declaration of Principles.

g)    Countries should consider establishing national mechanisms to achieve universal access in both underserved rural and urban areas, in order to bridge the digital divide.

 

 

 

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