The WSIS process and its Action Lines follow-up have served to ensure Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) help achieve broader development objectives such as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The WSIS+10 High-Level Event (HLE) in June 2014 accentuated this critical role that ICTs should play in achieving the objectives of the new global post-2015 development framework and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will build upon the MDGs.
The goals and targets outlined in the report of the Open Working Group are the basis of ongoing negotiations for the SDGs. ICTs specifically, and science and technology more generally, have been identified as key enablers of development. Direct references to the catalytic power of ICTs for development are cited as specific targets in 4 of the 17 goals (in targets related to education, gender empowerment, universal affordable access to ICTs/internet in LDCs and as a means of implementation).
In this regard, the WSIS process and Action Line follow-up would remain relevant to run alongside the future goals and targets, providing support through multi-stakeholder action and collaboration.
The newly adopted post-2015 development framework process is likely to have an impact on the outcomes of the WSIS+10 review to be held in December 2015. As the first major review of a UN Summit after the adoption of the new SDGs in September 2015, this will represent a historic opportunity and testing ground for establishing and consolidating the interaction between the Post-2015 Development Agenda and the WSIS processes.
The High-Level Debate will engage in identifying how the WSIS process and Action Line follow-up can best be leveraged to support the post-2015 development framework and SDGs. Questions will be posed relating to the key challenges, and the role of the different stakeholders in this process.