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ICTs for a Sustainable World #ICT4SDG

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

WSIS+10 High-Level Event
Third Physical Meeting of the Multistakeholder Preparatory Platform (MPP)
17 February 2014, Geneva, Switzerland

Distinguished colleagues,
Chairman and Vice-Chairs of the MPP,
Ladies and gentlemen,


It is a great pleasure to be here with you this morning at the third physical meeting of the WSIS+10 High-Level Event Multistakeholder Preparatory Platform, MPP.

The task of this group is to finalize, in a multistakeholder setup, the two outcome documents that will be endorsed at the WSIS+10 High-Level Event: these are the ‘WSIS+10 Statement on the Implementation of WSIS Outcomes’ and the ‘WSIS+10 Vision for WSIS Beyond 2015’.

Let me first start by congratulating all of you who are so deeply engaged in the process, and so committed to it. I am delighted that this process allows us to include the voices of all stakeholders.

The commitment of Governments, Private Sector, Civil Society and our sister UN Agencies is immense. Together we have started a new trend; the trend of ensuring that everyone interested in ICTs is part of a strategic process defining the focus of future implementation work.

Together, we are building the Vision of WSIS beyond 2015.

This is not to deny that this preparatory process should respect the decisions of the UN General Assembly on the Overall Review of WSIS. We are looking forward to receiving the outcomes of the open intergovernmental consultations on the modalities – and we are looking forward to hearing the latest updates from our colleagues from the CSTD secretariat.

Dear Colleagues,

I am aware that there has been an element of uncertainty about the date and venue of the WSIS+10 High-Level Event, and I am sure that you are keen to hear about the next steps. Let me assure you that I have made all efforts possible in this regard.

Let me take this opportunity to thank Egypt, and especially His Excellency Atef Helmy, Minister of Communications and Information Technology, for the constant commitment towards the WSIS process. Egypt has been extremely close to the WSIS Process since the very beginning, and has always supported the process with invaluable contributions.

As you may already know, the decision to postpone the WSIS+10 High-Level Event to later dates in 2014 was taken back in December. Today, after several consultations, we have jointly agreed with Egypt to change the location of the High-Level Event to another country, while accepting Egypt’s generous offer to host the next physical meeting of the MPP.

It is therefore my great pleasure to inform you that the 5th Physical Meeting of the MPP will take place from 28-31 May in Sharm- el- Sheikh. We are already working closely on all necessary arrangements and practical information will be available on the website very shortly. I strongly believe that thanks to this, we will be able to reinforce the participation of developing countries in this process.

In the meantime, I am carrying out consultations with Member States about the possibility of hosting the WSIS High Level Event itself. I am confident that I will soon be able to share with you good news concerning the new venue.

As far as the dates are concerned, we have analyzed the feasibility of this project, and we are focusing on the week of 17-21 June.

As soon as we will conclude the formal consultation with the ITU Council on the change of dates and venue, we will finalize the host country agreement – but let me reassure you today that our teams are already working closely to make sure that this event will be a great success.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The WSIS+10 Statement and Vision documents are progressing well with each phase, and we have already received more than 350 contributions and submissions to the process.

I have to admit that it is not always an easy task to build consensus on text that fairly reflects the views of all stakeholders. Let me therefore congratulate Professor Minkin and the vice chairs for their efforts in this regard, as well as all of you who have made such important contributions towards the outcome documents.

All of the submissions have contributed to the creation of a valuable knowledge bank. This bank of ideas is a clear demonstration of our investment in a brighter future for ourselves and for the next generation, ensuring that the full potential of ICTs is realized in achieving sustainable development goals.

Distinguished Colleagues,

Let me reiterate that the WSIS+10 High-Level Event is about implementation, and will therefore take stock of the achievements made in the last 10 years, based on the reports of all WSIS Stakeholders.

We have already received Country Reports from many countries, including Argentina, Belarus, Bulgaria, Japan, Lithuania, Poland, Rwanda, and Uruguay, and we are aware that several other countries including Oman, UAE and others, are preparing to submit their reports.

Action Line Facilitators reports are already online for your convenience – including C2, C5 and C6 from ITU; C3, C7 e-learning, C7 e-science, C8, C9 and C10 from UNESCO; and C7 e-business from UNCTAD, ITC, and UPU.

A comprehensive Civil Society Report has been submitted by the Association for Progressive Communication.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

All these impactful projects from all over the world deserve international recognition and praise.

For this year’s edition of the WSIS Project Prizes, we received more than 200 submissions from more than 50 countries, and we thank you all for submitting projects to this contest.

The list of nominated projects will be available today, and we kindly invite you to review this list online.

The project prizes in the 18 categories will be awarded at the High-level Event.

Dear Colleagues,

In my experience, for any project, process or event, measurement and targets are extremely important for accountability and transparency. I was therefore happy to note that the structure of the action lines beyond 2015 contains a chapter linking the pillars with direct achievable targets. Our dream is to have an accountable and measurable outcome of WSIS.

In addition, the Partnership on measuring ICTs for development, under the leadership of ITU, is currently preparing a final quantitative assessment report, which will analyze and discuss the achievements made on each of the ten WSIS targets. The report will be based on available data for the 49 indicators identified in the Partnership’s 2011  statistical framework document. The new report will be launched at the WSIS+10 high-level event.

I am also happy to note that all the UN Agencies are committed to the WSIS+10 MPP; they have worked very hard on the two documents, and in particular on the respective action lines that fall within their mandates.

It is my pleasure to announce that I have taken over the Chairmanship of UNGIS this year from Irina Bokova, Director General of UNESCO, and ITU will be working closely with all UN Agencies to draw up a work plan for the implementation of UN system-wide coordination on substantive policy matters concerning ICTs.

Let me therefore close by wishing you success in completing the first readings of all the chapters of the WSIS+10 Statement and Vision; I am following the outcomes very closely.

Thank you.