Action Lines C1 and C11 (International and Regional Cooperation) - The Role of Public Authorities and Global/Regional Cooperation in Ensuring that No One is Left Behind in the Information Society

United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) / International Telecommunication Union (ITU)

The facilitation meeting will provide a platform for participants to exchange information and experiences; to identify priority areas for implementation within the Action Lines and to explore synergies among different stakeholders for more effective knowledge sharing and collaboration in the implementation process.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development pledges that no one will be left behind in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The agenda is clear in its ambition to ensure that all human beings can fulfil their potential in dignity, equality and in a healthy environment. The Agenda further states that if we realize our ambitions across the full spectrum of the SDGs, the lives of all will be profoundly improved and our world will be transformed for the better.

The role of public governance authorities is crucial in the promotion of ICTs for achieving better results, the provision of a robust enabling environment for ICTs to flourish can accelerate the implementation of the SDGs. Capacity-building, particularly for vulnerable groups, is equally important as is demand-driven policy advice and technical assistance. Public authorities are also expected to provide such support during the implementation of the SDGs.

International cooperation among all stakeholders is vital in implementation of WSIS action lines and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As stated by the General Assembly in the WSIS+10 outcome document, the value and principles of multi-stakeholder cooperation and engagement that have characterized the WSIS processes since its inception have been and are vital in developing the information society.

Moderator

Ms. Marion Barthelemy, Acting Director, Division for Public Administration and Development Management (DPADM), United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA)

Speakers / panellists
  • Mr. Haidar Fraihat, Director of the Technology for Development Division, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UN ESCWA)
  • Mr. Kasirim Nwuke, Chief, New Technologies and Innovation Section, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Africa (UN ECA)
  • Ms. Clarisa Estol, Secretary for Investment Promotion, Ministry of Communications, Argentina
  • Ms. Lobna Smida,  Association Tunisienne de Développement Numérique, Tunisia
  • Ms. Marilyn Cade, Advisor, ICT Associations from Developing Countries, United States of America
  • Mr. Andy Richardson, Information Specialist, Inter-Parliamentary Union
  • Mr. Chengetai Masango, Programme and Technology Manager, United Nations Internet Governance Forum
  • Ms. Tatiana Ershova, General Director, Institute of the Information Society, Russian Federation
  • Mr Mikael Snaprud, Coordinator of the European Internet Inclusion Initiative (EIII)
  • Mr.  Juan Raúl Heredía Acosta, Deputy Permanent Representative at the Permanent Mission of Mexico
  • Ms. Diana Parra Silva, Agency for e-Government and Information Society, Office of the President of Uruguay
  • Dr. Mazen Abduljabbar, Strategy and Business Excellence Consultant, Ministry of Interior, United Arab Emirates
Link to WSIS Action Lines
  • C1. The role of public governance authorities and all stakeholders in the promotion of ICTs for development
  • C2. Information and communication infrastructure
  • C3. Access to information and knowledge
  • C4. Capacity building
  • C5. Building confidence and security in the use of ICTs
  • C6. Enabling environment
  • C7. ICT Applications: E-government
  • C9. Media
  • C10. Ethical dimensions of the Information Society
  • C11. International and regional cooperation

Cooperation is particularly needed in promoting universal access and bridging the digital divide as stated in the Geneva Plan of Action.  Target 9.c of the SDGs request member states to significantly increase access to ICT and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet in least developed countries by 2020. There are still significant digital divides within and between countries. The lives of the majority of the world’s people remain largely untouched by the digital revolution. Only around 15 percent can afford access to broadband internet. Mobile phones, reaching almost four-fifths of the world’s people, provide the main form of internet access in developing countries. But even then, nearly 2 billion people do not own a mobile phone, and nearly 60 percent of the world’s population has no access to the internet. These divides need to be addressed through strengthened enabling policy environments and international cooperation to improve affordability, access, education, capacity-building, multilingualism, cultural preservation, investment and appropriate financing.

Public authorities and other stakeholders have also an important role in minimizing the threats that come with ICTs such as cybersecurity, data protection, etc. There is an ongoing need for developing legal and enforcement frameworks to keep up with the speed of technological advancement. A global culture of online security needs to be promoted and developed by all stakeholders. A secure online space will definitely accelerate the progress of achieving the SDGs.

There is also need for strengthened cooperation international and regional cooperation against threats that may hinder the further development of information society. More efforts are needed to build robust domestic security in ICTs consistent with countries’ international obligations and domestic law. Further cooperation is also needed on transnational issues regarding ICTs, including capacity-building and cooperation in preventing and combating the misuse of the technologies for criminal or terrorist purposes.

Link to the Sustainable Development Process
  • Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere
  • Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all
  • Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
  • Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries
  • Goal 16: Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies
  • Goal 17: Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

ICTs have clearly demonstrated their value as cross-cutting facilitators and enablers of sustainable development. For example, increased Internet use can reduce poverty and create jobs through increased efficiency and transparency in government. ICTs can be used for creation of various data banks on diseases and can also assist governments and decision makers in health planning; they bring together people in danger, collect knowledge from specialists, and monitor the spread of a disease by governments and healthcare workers.  ICTs can also contribute to achieving gender equality by including women in policy-making through e-voting and e-learning, enhancing women’s ability to take surveys, and allowing them to anonymously make complaints and to participate in discussion forums.

Session 229
  • Thursday, 09:00 – 10:45
  • Room G2, ITU Varembé
  • Interactive Action Line Facilitation Meeting

WSIS Forum 2016 | WSIS Action Lines: Supporting the Implementation of SDGs
2–6 May 2016, International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Place des Nations, 1211 Geneva, Switzerland