Official Opening Segment - Opening Ceremony

Session 281

09:00–13:00, Tuesday, 13 June 2017 Room 1, CICG Captioning Interpretation: E/F/R/S/C/A Opening Ceremony

1  Document 

Share on:  Facebook  Twitter  Twitter


Opening Ceremony (Statements):

The Opening Ceremony sets the priorities of the WSIS Forum 2017, bringing forth a wide range of topics within the Global Information and Knowledge Societies while emphasizing the role of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), WSIS Action Lines in particular, regarding the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In this way, the WSIS Forum 2017 builds upon the outcomes of the UN General Assembly Overall Review of the implementation of the WSIS outcomes (UNGA Resolution 70/125), which recognized the necessity of holding this Forum on an annual basis and called for a close alignment between WSIS and the SDG processes. 

 The WSIS Forum 2017 will therefore serve as a key forum for discussing the role of ICTs as a means of implementation of the SDGs and targets, with due regard to the global mechanism for follow-up and review of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (UNGA Resolution A/70/1). The WSIS-SDG Matrix, developed by UN WSIS Action Line Facilitator and presented at the WSIS Forum 2015, will serve as the mechanism to map, analyse and coordinate the implementation of WSIS Action Lines, and more specifically, ICTs as enablers and accelerators of the SDGs.

The ceremony will begin with opening statements from the host, co-organizers, partners and representatives of stakeholders engaged in the WSIS Process. The Opening Ceremony will conclude with the handing out of the WSIS prizes.

The format, agenda, and the thematic focus of the Forum is a result of an open consultation process with the involvement of all WSIS Stakeholders. The Forum will build upon two tracks, the High-Level Track, and the Forum Track.

  • Mr Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General (Message) 
  1. Mr. Houlin Zhao, Secretary-General, ITU
  2. Mr. Akif Gilalov, Chairman, World’s Global Telecom
  3. Mr. Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary General, UNCTAD
  4. Mr. Frank La Rue, Assistant Director General, Knowledge Societies Division (KSD), Communication and Information Sector (CI), UNESCO
  5. Mr. Bishar A. Hussein, Secretary General, UPU
  6. Ms. Arancha González, Executive Director, International Trade Center (ITC)
  7. Ms. Deborah Greenfield, Deputy Director General, ILO
  8. Dr. Elena Manaenkova, Deputy Secretary-General, WMO
  9. Mr. Peter Major, Vice-Chair, United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD)
  10. Ms. Anriette Esterhuysen, Director of Global Advocacy and Policy Strategy, Association for Progressive Communication (APC)
  11. Dr. Carolyn Nguyen, Vice-Chair of the ICC Commission on the Digital Economy and Director, Technology Policy, Microsoft

Appointment of the Chairman of the WSIS Forum 2017 and Announcement of High-level Track Facilitators

  • Mr. Houlin Zhao, Secretary-General, ITU
  • Chairman Elect:  H.E. Mr. Jean Philbert Nsengimana, Minister of Youth & ICT, Rwanda
  • High-Level Track Facilitators

    Civil Society

  • Ms. Brenda Aynsley, Chairman IP3 ACS Fellow and Honorary Life Member, CP, International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP)
  • Ms. Reine Essobmadje, CO-Founder, Digital Coalition
  • Ms. Jessica Dheere, CO-Founder and CO-Director, Social Media Exchange (SMEX)
  • Ms. Gayatri Khandhadai, Project Coordinator, Association for Progressive Communications (APC)
  • Dr. Jovan Kurbalija, Founding Director, DiploFoundation
  • Ms. Mehwish Abid Ansari, Programme Assistant at Digital Programme, ARTICLE 19

    Private Sector

  • Dr. Yury G. Grin, Deputy Director General, Intervale
  • Ms. Dominique Lazanski, Public Policy Director, GSM Association


  • Dr. Habib Kammoun, Chairperson of the IEEE Tunisia Section & leader in the REGIM-Lab. (Research Groups in Intelligent Machines), University of Sfax
  • Dr. Nitya Khemka, Affiliate Lecturer, University of Cambridge
  • Ms. Shuchita Thapar, Project Manager Cybersecurity Team, National Law University, Delhi
  • Mr. André Lucas Fernandes, (Youth Representative) / Lawyer and researcher on Law and Technology at the Federal University of Pernambuco, ISOC's Youth SIG

     Technical Community

  • Mr. Justin Caso, Technology Policy and International Affairs Senior Advisor, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
  • Mr. Shernon Osepa, Regional Affairs Manager for Latin America & The Caribbean Bureau, Internet Society (ISOC)

Multistakeholder Partnership for WSIS Implementation

  • Mr. Malcolm Johnson, Deputy Secretary-General, ITU
  • Chairman: H.E. Mr. Jean Philbert Nsengimana, Minister of Youth & ICT, Rwanda
  1. Japan — H.E. Mr. Shigeki Suzuki, Vice-Minister for Policy Coordination, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications
  2. Poland — Mr. Marcin Cichy, President, Office for Electronic Communications
  3. Switzerland – H.E. Mr. Thomas Schneider, Ambassador and Director of International Affairs, Swiss Federal Office of Communication (OFCOM)
  4. ICANN — Mr. Tarek Kamel, Senior VP and Adviser to President, ICANN
  5. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) — Ms. Karen Bartleson, President
  6. Internet Society (ISOC) — Mr. Raúl Echeberría, Vice President
  7. GeSI – Mr. Luis Neves, Group Sustainability and Climate Protection Officer
  8. VEON – Mr. Tomas Lamanauskas, Group Director Public Policy 


Award Ceremony for the Prize for WSIS Forum 2017 Hackathon Winner


High-Level Strategic Dialogue - ICTs for Advancing the Implementation of SDGs:
Cross-Sectoral Engagement, Linkages and Implementation

  • Mr. Brahima Sanou, Director, Telecommunication Development Bureau, ITU
  • Chairman of WSIS Forum 2017: H.E. Mr. Jean Philbert Nsengimana, Minister of Youth & ICT, Rwanda
  1. Public Administration – H.E. Mr. Boris Koprivnikar, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Public Administration and Chief Digital Officer of the Government, Slovenia
  2. Communications -  H.E. Mr. Oscar Aguad,  Minister, Ministry of Communications, Argentina
  3. Communications  - H.E. Mr. Manoj Sinha, Minister of State for Communications (Independent Charge), India 
  4. Digital Economy - H.E. Mr. Habib Dabbabi, Secretary of State in chare of Digital Economy, Ministry of ICT & Digital Economy, Tunisia
  5. Labour and Social Protection of Population - H.E. Mr. Idris Isayev, Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Protection of Population, Azerbaijan
  6. United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) - Dr. Fatima Denton, Director, Special Initiatives Division
  7. Royal Academy of Science International Trust (RASIT) - H.E. Princess Nisreen El-Hashemite, Executive Director


WSIS Project Prize Ceremony

Eighteen WSIS Project Prizes will be awarded during this session recognizing successful initiatives by governments, private sector actors, civil society members and partnerships between all stakeholders. The winners are awarded for their tremendous efforts and achievements on implementation of WSIS outcomes.

  • Mr. Houlin Zhao, Secretary-General, ITU
    Awarding 18 Winning Projects

Session's link to WSIS Action Lines

  • AL C1 logo C1. The role of public governance authorities and all stakeholders in the promotion of ICTs for development
  • AL C2 logo C2. Information and communication infrastructure
  • AL C3 logo C3. Access to information and knowledge
  • AL C4 logo C4. Capacity building
  • AL C5 logo C5. Building confidence and security in the use of ICTs
  • AL C6 logo C6. Enabling environment
  • AL C7 e-Gov logo C7. ICT Applications: E-government
  • AL C7 e-Bus logo C7. ICT Applications: E-business
  • AL C7 e-Lea logo C7. ICT Applications: E-learning
  • AL C7 e-Hea logo C7. ICT Applications: E-health
  • AL C7 e-Emp logo C7. ICT Applications: E-employment
  • AL C7 e-Env logo C7. ICT Applications: E-environment
  • AL C7 e-Agr logo C7. ICT Applications: E-agriculture
  • AL C7 e-Sci logo C7. ICT Applications: E-science
  • AL C8 logo C8. Cultural diversity and identity, linguistic diversity and local content
  • AL C9 logo C9. Media
  • AL C10 logo C10. Ethical dimensions of the Information Society
  • AL C11 logo C11. International and regional cooperation

Session's link to Sustainable Development Process

  • Goal 1: No poverty logo Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere
  • Goal 2: Zero hunger logo Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
  • Goal 3: Good health and well-being logo Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all
  • Goal 4: Quality education logo Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
  • Goal 5: Gender equality logo Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
  • Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation logo Goal 6: Ensure access to water and sanitation for all
  • Goal 7: Affordable and clean energy logo Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
  • Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth logo Goal 8: Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all
  • Goal 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure logo Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
  • Goal 10: Reduced inequalities logo Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries
  • Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities logo Goal 11: Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
  • Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production logo Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
  • Goal 13: Climate action logo Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
  • Goal 14: Life below water logo Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources
  • Goal 15: Life on land logo Goal 15: Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss
  • Goal 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions logo Goal 16: Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies
  • Goal 17: Partnerships for the goals logo Goal 17: Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development



Link to this session