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  SECOND PHASE OF THE WSIS, 16-18 NOVEMBER 2005, TUNIS
 
 Statement from International Chamber of Commerce

 

STATEMENT BY Richard D. McCormick

International Chamber of Commerce

 

18 November 2005

 

Mr Chairman, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

The private sector has been represented in this Summit process by CCBI – the Coordinating Committee of Business Interlocutors – chaired by ICC, the International Chamber of Commerce.

We are companies and business associations – representing hundreds of thousands of enterprises, large and small, from all sectors and all corners of the world.

We have worked tirelessly throughout the Summit because we believe the decisions here – and hereafter – will have a profoundly positive effect on people’s lives.

And yet, as this Summit draws to a close, we believe it is timely to invoke the sentiments of Winston Churchill, who said: "This is not the end. It is not the beginning of the end. It is only the end of the beginning."

Yes, the Summit has ended – and now the real work begins. It is time to turn the words into action. And action is something that business is good at.

Yesterday, we discussed a number of projects involving the contributions of business, governments, the scientific and technical communities and other interest groups:

The Digitial Inclusion Initiative to improve employment and education – 100 countries and 250 million people.

The Jordan Education Initiative – if you want to see a model of capacity building and a good environment created by government - talk to Jordan.

The WIMAX, VOIP and RFID projects in Singapore.

The Network Academy Project – involving 10,000 institutions, 160 countries and 450,000 students designing internet protocol networks.

The mobile communications industry developing ultra-low cost handsets.

The mobile trial in Brazil using low-frequency bands for unwired rural areas.

And, of course, the $100 laptop for children in developing countries, unveiled here yesterday.

The list goes on and on.

What business brings to the table is invaluable market experience and the wherewithal to put that experience into practice. In short, we know what works and what doesn’t.

As we go forward, we ask governments for four things:

A technology neutral, competitive marketplace.

A strong system of intellectual property protection.

Governments which are transparent and operate under the rule of law.

A government commitment to education and training for all, utilizing information and communication technologies wherever possible.

These elements together establish the policy, legal and regulatory environments that promote innovation, foster entrepreneurship and attract investment.

This is not a new list. Some governments have acted, some have promised it but haven’t delivered, and others have yet to commit.

In the latter groups, opportunities are passing you by.

Innovators, entrepreneurs, businesses and jobs will go where the environment is right.

Finally, the private sector commends the decision to continue the administration and technical management of the Internet under its current de-centralized governance structure.

At the same time, we look forward to working with you on the formulation and eventual work of the international multi-stakeholder forum to make the Internet even better for the future.

We were asked in the business event yesterday who were the winners and losers from the Summit outcomes.

After giving this much thought, we believe freedom and opportunity are the winners.

Now it’s up to governments, business, interest groups and the scientific and technical communities to take this freedom and opportunity to improve the lives of every person on this planet.

If we do that, there will be no losers- everybody wins.

 

 

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