Committed to connecting the world

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

ITU WSIS Forum 2013

Press Conference

13 May 2013, Geneva, Switzerland

The WSIS Forum is an international multi-stakeholder engagement to meet the goals of the World Summit on the Information Society which met in Geneva in 2003 and in Tunis in 2005.

The Summit set out Action Plans in several key areas for ICT development, including ICT infrastructure and capacity building, cybersecurity and ICT applications in key areas such as e-Government, e-Learning, e-Health and e-Environment.

Ten years after the Geneva phase of WSIS, we are witnessing some of the most innovative developments in the ICT sector.

Mobile phone subscriptions are reaching the 7 billion mark.

In 2012, two and a half billion people used the Internet from one device or another.

The thrust now is to drive content through enhanced broadband access that will feed both rural communities and urban centres.

It is now time to look at WSIS+10 and how we can continue the momentum for the future development of ICTs, which govern so many aspects of our day-to-day life.

The presence today of more than 60 ministers, private sector and civil society leaders, along with heads of UN agencies, is clear proof that this annual WSIS Forum is crucial for all stakeholders across the ICT ecosystem.

Indeed, the WSIS Forum continues to grow as the only platform that provides a multi-stakeholder vision and which identifies the emerging trends and recommendations on the future of the WSIS process.

The five-day programme features a series of High-Level Dialogues, Action Line Facilitation Meetings, Interactive Sessions, Country Workshops, Thematic Workshops, Publication Releases, Knowledge Exchanges, Briefings, WSIS+10 Visioning Tracks, and an Exhibition.

Together, these diverse elements of the WSIS Forum will address the issues critical to implementing WSIS activities and for developing a post-2015 agenda.

This year’s WSIS Forum is a unique opportunity to develop consensus on what is needed for the WSIS process in the future, to ensure that the bottom-up approach of the WSIS process is preserved and that the decisions concerning modalities also respect the real requirements of the use of ICTs for socio-economic development, while ensuring growth in the ICT ecosystem itself.