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WTDC-14 Highlights: WSIS+10 High-level Event

GSR13 Chairman's Report

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 Forthcoming WSIS+10 High-level Event highlighted in Dubai

Issue N°9, Dubai, 8 April 2014  

The event expected to endorse statement on implementation of WSIS and a post-2015 blueprint

ITU Deputy Secretary-General Houlin Zhao has praised the "open and inclusive" nature of the preparatory process for the forthcoming WSIS+10 High-level Event scheduled to take place in Geneva from 10 to 13 June (including planned pre-events on 09 June).

At an information session in Dubai on the sidelines of WTDC-14, Mr Zhao said that the WSIS+10 High-Level Event is expected to endorse a Statement on Implementation of the WSIS Outcomes and a Document outlining the WSIS+10 Vision Beyond 2015 and will be an extended version of the WSIS Forum. "The Outcome Documents are, at present, being developed in an open and inclusive WSIS+10 Multi-stakeholder Preparatory Platform" established along the lines proposed by the 2013 ITU Council session, he said.

As mandated by that ITU Council meeting, the ITU Deputy Secretary-General said the Geneva meeting is being held "to provide the necessary vision to chart the way forward beyond 2015" and to reaffirm a commitment "to ensure that ICTs remain high on the political agenda over the next decade". He described the Geneva event as "a major undertaking of the whole UN family, with [the] engagement of all UN agencies mandated by WSIS to perform implementation-related activities, including ITU, UNESCO, UNCTAD, UNDP, FAO, ILO, ITC, UNDESA, UNODC, UPU, UN Women, WMO, WHO, WFP, WIPO and UN Regional Commissions."

Mr Zhao said the WSIS+10 Event will be conducted along the following two tracks:
A detailed power point presentation on the lead up to the WSIS+10 High-level Event was given by Jaroslaw Ponder, ITU's Strategy and Policy Advisor and Coordinator for the Europe Region.

Two anniversaries are expected to be celebrated during the Geneva meeting:
Mr Zhao reiterated that the WSIS+10 High-Level Event "is about implementation, therefore it will take stock of the achievements made in the last 10 years based on reports of WSIS stakeholders, including those submitted by ITU Member States, Action Line facilitators and other stakeholders. We have already received many country reports from Argentina, Belarus, Bulgaria, Japan, Oman Lithuania, Poland, Rwanda, Uruguay and are aware that several countries like UAE, India and others are preparing to submit their reports to the WSIS+10 High-Level Event," he added.

An update on the work progress of the Multistakeholder Preparatory Platform (MPP), was provided by its Chairman, Prof. Dr. Vladimir Minkin (Russian Federation), who drew attention to the modalities and  principles of the preparatory process and the expected results of the 4th Physical Meeting of MPP to be held from 14-17 April 2014. He highlighted that to date the MPP had processed more than 400 multistakeholder contributions, making it an example of an effective bottom up mechanism for building consensus.

ITU Standardization Bureau Director Malcolm Johnson underlined that preparations towards the WSIS+10 High Level Event involve all sectors and the efforts are coordinated through the WSIS Taskforce. Several new emerging trends, including those on smart water management, climate change, accessibility, and will be addressed at the event.

In concluding, Mr Zhao encouraged the ITU Membership to engage in the preparatory process leading towards elaboration of the Outcome Documents of the WSIS+10 High Level Event, while thanking all stakeholders for their inputs and contributions to the ongoing work of the MPP. He also expressed his appreciation for helping ITU in addressing the financial challenge of this important undertaking, directing his words in particular towards UAE, Switzerland and Intel as well as Japan, Kuwait, Oman, Poland and Rwanda. 

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WTDC-14 Interview:
Jaroslaw Ponder, Strategy and Policy Coordinator, ITU