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ICTs for a Sustainable World #ICT4SDG

Speech by ITU Secretary-General, Dr Hamadoun I. Touré

   WSIS Forum 2012 - Closing Ceremony

18 May 2012, Geneva, Switzerland

Distinguished guests,
Dear WSIS Stakeholders,

Welcome to the closing ceremony of the WSIS Forum 2012. I would like to thank all of you for your participation, your enthusiasm and your commitment to ensuring that the vision of the WSIS to build a people-centred, inclusive and development-oriented Information Society for all becomes a true reality.

I would like to express my sincere appreciation to our gracious hosts the International Labour Organization not just for the excellent facilities we have benefitted from but for the warm welcome we have received throughout this week, I have heard great praise from all of the participants.

While much progress has been made, with just two and a half years to go, we call on all players to step up their efforts in building a truly global Information Society that benefits all our peoples.

This year’s Forum has attracted more than 1250 WSIS Stakeholders from more than 140 countries.

We welcomed several high-level representatives including more than 35 ministers and Deputies, Ambassadors, CEOs and Civil Society leaders who contributed passionately towards the programme of the Forum.

Remote participation was an integral component of the WSIS Forum.  Over 1000 stakeholders followed and contributed to the outcomes of the event in a remote manner from all parts of world.
I would like to congratulate the remote participation team for this great success.
The onsite networking was facilitated by the imeetYouatWSIS online community platform. More than  553 on-site participants have actively used the tool prior to and during the event which has facilitated fruitful networking opportunities leading to win-win partnerships.

The Forum was followed on social networks  - #wsis in Twitter through the imeetyouatWSIS Forum and WSIS Process page on Facebook

Action Line Facilitators from various UN agencies, regional commissions, the private sector, governments and civil society not only reported and assessed their own efforts towards WSIS implementation and follow-up, but also shared their future plans to achieve the targets set in the WSIS+10 plan of action.

WSIS Project Prizes were added as a new element to the WSIS Forum, recognizing excellence in the implementation of projects and initiatives which further the WSIS goals of improving connectivity to ICTs, particularly within underserved communities.

The Forum consisted of more than 150 sessions structured in 20 different types of meetings in 7 parallel streams.

While I note that this was a lot to take in, we can always go back to the webcast of those sessions we were not able to attend in person.  I have heard some very good suggestions from many of you regarding the format, structure, number of sessions and possible improvements for next year and I can ensure you that we will take on these comments as we begin planning for next year.

I managed to stop in to several country workshops and was simply amazed to learn about projects going on in the areas of health, education, youth and so much more.

This week we also celebrated the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day focusing on the theme ‘Women and girls in ICT’.  Our goal is to further extend digital opportunities to girls and women.  We awarded 3 distinguished laureates for their outstanding achievements in using ICTs to empower girls and women.  The laureates were President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner of Argentina, Huawei Chairman Ms. Sun Yafang, and Academy Award winning actor Geena Davis, founder of the Geena Davis Institute of Gender in Media.

The ceremony was followed by a stimulating High Level Dialogue on ICT and girls and a showcasing session on Girls in ICT day celebrations.

This year we held a Ministerial Roundtable, where Ministers highlighted their country’s progress in the implementation of the WSIS goals, while drawing attention to many issues that still need to be addressed. They also emphasized the need for national strategies and further international collaboration towards WSIS +10.

As we move forward to 2015, ITU will carry out its role to manage this WSIS +10 process, and we will do all our best to provide necessary means for developing the vision that corresponds to the real needs of the knowledge society.

I would now like to invite the Strategic Partners of the WSIS Forum2012 to say a few works.  I would like to invite first our government strategic partner, the representative from UAE.

I would now like to invite the representative from INTEL our private sector partner to say a few words.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the other Partners for specific activities and would like to award them with certificates as a token of our appreciation.
  • Partner for Specific Activities
  • Belgium- Liege
  • Ethiopia
  • Kazakhstan (Republic of)
  • Oman (Sultanate of)
  • Poland (Republic of)
  • Saudi Arabia (Kingdom of)
  • Tanzania (United Republic of)
  • Zimbabwe (Republic of)

Once again, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to our gracious hosts the International Labour Organization for their wonderful hospitality. They have made us truly welcome and comfortable in their headquarters.
Of course, I can’t conclude without congratulating and thanking the entire WSIS team for the organization of a diverse, vibrant and informative event. As some of you will know, the major organizer of this event Jaroslow Ponder has had to leave us due to a family bereavement. He is very much in our thoughts at this difficult time. I know he will be most satisfied to see the results of all his industrious work.

Before I finish, I would now like to proceed to the “Lucky Draw”.  For those of you that attended the opening of the ICT Discovery on Tuesday you will remember that we invited you to leave your business card.  The cards are here in this box.  I will now draw an award the winner with the latest Samsung tablette.

Ladies and gentlemen, I again thank all of you for your participation.

I wish you a safe journey back home.