Statement from the Republic of Cyprus
Dr. Andreas Moleskis, Permanent
Secretary, Planning Bureau of the Republic of Cyprus
18th of November 2005
Ladies and Gentlemen,
On behalf of the Government of the
Republic of Cyprus and the Cypriot delegation, I would like
to congratulate the United Nations and the hosting Tunisian
Government for their initiative to organise the second phase
of the World Summit on Information Society.
It is an unquestionable fact that
information and communication technologies, the broadcasting
multimedia, and their interaction with human intelligence,
brought new dimensions in the entire socio-economic scene.
Our era has been characterised as a revolution, the core of
which is information and the knowledge-based infrastructure.
Information takes the form of an additional factor in the
production process, as it introduces new products and
services and brings in new ways of conducting business.
Hence, it leads to increased productivity, efficiencies,
higher GDP growth and eventually to a better quality of life
for people of all nations.
The Information Society is the
new, emerging society, with a global nature, with no
physical borders, and with the factor "distance" losing its
However, it is of outmost importance that
opportunities should be offered to all, if
this new factor of production is to benefit all the people,
and not just the few. It is for this reason that the digital
divide between citizens, as well as between nations, must be
eliminated. A series of measures should be taken for
ensuring that all citizens, especially those with special
needs, have access to modern information and communication
technologies. This will equip them with the skills required
to live and work in this new environment, and will improve
their quality of life in general.
The World Summit on Information Society
could be the first real attempt to bridge the digital divide
worldwide. The two phases of the Summit proved to be a
unique opportunity for all stakeholders to exchange views,
to decide and endorse the principles, on the basis of which
the information society should be further developed. In this
way, it is ensured that the whole world community
will be given the opportunity to benefit. However, this was
just the first step of our effort towards an inclusive
information society. The implementation of the Geneva
and Tunis decisions constitutes a great challenge and indeed
requires strong partnerships between public and private
entities and with the civil society.
Cyprus recognises the
tremendous importance of the information society
and appreciates its significant contribution on
strengthening the economic, social and cultural
development. We reaffirm the commitments made in
Geneva and would like to assure the
international community that we are committed to
fulfilling our common desire "to build a people-centred,
inclusive and development oriented Information
Society", as clearly stated in the Tunis
Commitment. In alignment with our EU partners,
we are committed to contribute to the
development of an inclusive information society,
which respects human rights and freedoms,
including inter alia the freedom of expression
and democracy in general.
We would like to reaffirm
that the development of our national policies
will include targets for meeting the challenges
of the Information Society, bridging the digital
divide, and preventing the abuse of information
resources and technologies for criminal
Cyprus will be promoting and
supporting national and international policies
for equitable and affordable access to ICT
infrastructure and services, and policies that
create a favourable climate for increased
confidence and security in the use of ICTs.
In closing, I would like to
thank once more the UN, the ITU and the Tunisian
Government for organising this Summit.