STATEMENT BY Professor SHUICHI IWATA, PRESIDENT OF
Committee on Data for Science and Technology (CODATA)
PROFESSOR, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, the
University of Tokyo
Report from a Multi-Stakeholder Event to
the 8th Plenary Session of the World Summit on the Information
18th November 2005, Tunis.
Mr Chairman, Ladies and Gentleman
As President of CODATA, the Committee on Data for Science
and Technology, I would like to thank the ITU and the WSIS secretariat for
giving me the opportunity to make this intervention.
You may kindly recall that in the Geneva phase of the
World Summit on the Information Society in December 2003, 175 countries
adopted a landmark Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action.
Paragraph 7 of the Declaration of Principles states that
"Science has a central role in the development of the Information Society."
Article 10 of the Agenda for Action recognizes the
importance of "Access to Information and Knowledge," and Article 23
recognizes the important role of "e-Science."
Many institutions and organizations within the scientific
community already are engaged in activities that address these principles,
in particular the importance of widespread access to scientific data and
information. However, there is a growing perception of the need to
coordinate and integrate these efforts.
With this in mind, CODATA consulted extensively during
the past year with the International Council for Science (ICSU), the
International Council of Scientific and Technical Information (ICSTI), the
International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP),
the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS), the Science
Commons, UNESCO, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development
(OECD), CERN, and scientists and scholars from around the world.
Earlier this week, we held a special event at a WSIS
Satellite Event here in Tunis to launch a new initiative to create the
Global Information Commons for Science.
The Global Information Commons for Science Initiative
is a multi-stakeholder undertaking with the following goals:
(1) Improved understanding and increased awareness of the
societal benefits of easier access to and use of scientific data and
information, particularly those resulting from publicly funded research
(2) Wider adoption of successful methods and models for
providing open availability on a sustainable basis and facilitating reuse of
publicly-funded scientific data and information, as well as cooperative
sharing of research materials and tools among researchers; and
(3) Encouragement and coordination of the efforts of the
many stakeholders in the world’s diverse scientific community who are
engaged in efforts to devise and implement effective means to achieve these
objectives, with particular attention to developing countries.
The Initiative will not duplicate existing efforts.
Rather, it will provide a shared global platform to supplement and support
members’ work on existing initiatives.
To become a partner, organizations will need to make a
commitment to undertake one or more activities that contribute to the stated
More information can be found on our website, http://www.codata.org.
Finally, I would like to quote from an editorial that was
published in the journal Science, on October 21st of this
year: "Science helped to create the Information Society—it can now help
extend that society to all."
Many thanks for your time and attention. We look forward
to a successful conclusion of the World Summit and to working with all of
you on these important issues.