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Media Advisory

WSIS Forum 2020: World’s largest annual gathering of the ‘ICT for development’ community goes virtual

World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum to hold weekly public online sessions as from 22 June, culminating in September with a final week of interactive high-level dialogues, WSIS Prizes ceremony and more




Geneva, 17 June 2020
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COVID-19 has highlighted the fundamental importance of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to economies and societies everywhere. From teleworking and e-commerce to telemedicine and remote learning, digital technologies are supporting continued access to education, healthcare, essential goods and services and family and friends. 

With its focus this year on "Fostering digital transformation and global partnerships: WSIS Action Lines for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)", the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum is now more important than ever. 

In light of COVID-19 and participants' safety and health, the co-organisers have decided to hold the WSIS Forum 2020 in a virtual format. 

Going virtual is an opportunity to scale the gathering to a wider community and be ever more inclusive while marking 15 years of cooperation between all WSIS Stakeholders to leverage ICTs as critical drivers of global development. 

WHAT: The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum 2020, celebrating 15 years of providing a multi-stakeholder platform to discuss, share experiences, showcase innovation, and foster partnerships in strengthening the impact of ICTs for sustainable development. 

WHEN: Online sessions to be held as from 22 June, 12:00-13:00 onwards, featuring a weekly programme, including a series of thematic/country workshops which are hosted by WSIS Stakeholders, high-level policy sessions, special tracks on various themes, a virtual knowledge café, a Hackathon, WSIS Action Line meeting and a virtual exhibition addressing issues that are critical to WSIS implementation and follow-up in a multi-stakeholder setting. 

The final week of the virtual WSIS Forum 2020 will take place from 7 to 10 September 2020, consisting of interactive high-level dialogues, a WSIS Prize ceremony, a ministerial round table, as well as a series of WSIS Action Line facilitation meetings by UN Agencies. Click here to view the latest agenda.  

WHERE: Public access webinars, virtual workshops and special tracks to be held fully online. Media accreditation is not necessary to participate in the weekly workshops leading up to September 2020.

 Find out more about the WSIS Forum 2020 at wsis.org/forum and discover what others are saying on social media by searching for the hashtag #WSIS on FacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube and LinkedIn.

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About the WSIS Forum

The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum represents the world's largest annual gathering of the 'ICT for development' community. The WSIS Forum, co-organized by ITU, UNESCO, UNDP and UNCTAD, in close collaboration with all WSIS Action Line Facilitators/Co-Facilitators, has proven to be an efficient mechanism for coordination of multi-stakeholder implementation activities, information exchange, creation of knowledge, sharing of best practices and continues to provide assistance in developing multi-stakeholder and public-private partnerships to advance development goals. This Forum will provide structured opportunities to network, learn and participate in multi-stakeholder discussions and consultations on WSIS implementation. The Agenda and Programme of the Forum will be built on the basis of the submissions received during the Open Consultation Process. The Forum enables participation from all over the world to engage with high-level representatives of the wider WSIS Stakeholder community, including ministers and deputies, ambassadors, as well as leaders from the private sector, academia and civil society. Furthermore, the 2020 WSIS Forum (WSIS+15) will provide an opportunity to serve as a platform to track the achievements of WSIS Action Lines in collaboration with the UN Agencies involved and provide information and analyses of the implementation of WSIS Action Lines since 2005. ​