A profound transformation has taken place in society because of digital technologies.; It has been playing a vital and increasing role in addressing the ever-growing socio-economic challenges, building inclusive and resilient economies, and shaping a sustainable future for all as envisioned in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The growing importance of digital transformation has been demonstrated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has abundantly illustrated the link between digitalization and development. Despite this, they can also harm society and the environment.
António Guterres, the UN Secretary-General, said, "Looking to the future, two seismic shifts will shape the 21st century: the climate crisis and digital transformation." To that end, the United Nations Member States adopted a Declaration on the Commemoration of the Seventy-Fifth Anniversary of the United Nations (A/RES/75/1 ), which calls for digital cooperation. In response to the Declaration, the Secretary-General's report, Our Common Agenda , proposes a Global Digital Compact to be agreed at the Summit of the Future in September 2023 through a technology track involving all stakeholders: governments, the United Nations system, the private sector (including tech companies), civil society, grass-roots organizations, academia, and individuals, including youth.
The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) as a UN process provides a global framework for harnessing the tremendous power of ICTs ,including the WSIS Forum and its special initiatives, the WSIS Stocktaking Database, with global framework for harnessing the tremendous power of ICTs and the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) as one of the significant outcomes of WSIS outlined in the Tunis Agenda can serve as platforms for raising awareness and gathering input from various stakeholders to shape the Global Digital Compact. During the WSIS, the United Nations achieved a shared commitment to building a people-centric, inclusive, and development-oriented Information Society. Every stakeholder can share knowledge and best practices on how ICTs and WSIS Action Lines can accelerate the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through this platform. the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is one of the significant outcomes of WSIS, as outlined in the Tunis Agenda. As part of the IGF, which is convened by the United Nations Secretary-General, stakeholders from diverse groups discuss public policy issues relating to the Internet and work together to maximize Internet opportunities and address risks.
THE UNITED NATIONS GROUP ON THE INFORMATION SOCIETY (UNGIS)
UN-Chief Executives Board (CEB) endorsed the United Nations Group on the Information Society (UNGIS) on April 26, 2006, as an interagency organization responsible for coordinating the implementation of the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS).
UNGIS' mission is to build extensive collaboration and partnerships among CEB members to promote the WSIS objectives, to keep ICT-related issues and science and technology at the top of the UN agenda, and to mainstream ICT for Development into CEB members' mandates.
UNGIS AND DIGITAL GLOBAL COMPACT(DGC)
UNGIS is an existing great intra-agency platform to enhance collaboration, coordination, and cooperation between national, regional, and international stakeholders levels in order to aligning the WSIS and IGF processes with the SDGs. To ensure an open, accessible, and secure future for all digitally, it is imperative to ensure that the outcomes of this process are incorporated into the UN Secretary General's Global Digital Compact.
OBJECTIVE OF THE SESSION
As the Vice-chair of the UNGIS and Chair of the WSIS Regional Commission Group for 2022-2023, the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) in collaboration with the current chair ITU and the vice-chairs UNESCO, UNCTAD and UNDP will organize a session at the African Internet governance forum (AFIGF) to discuss:
- UNGIS Action Plan 2022-2023 implementation progress. Highlight each agency's diverse contributions to achieving SDGs through ICT and toward the common agenda.
- What role can this body play in coordinating outcomes from Multi-stakeholder processes like WSIS and IGF to accelerate and shape the Global Digital Compact principles through tapping into our respective resources
- Ensure participation and involvement of the UNGIS’s members in the preparation of several events (IGF 2022, Africa WSIS Forum 2022 Regional Review meeting, etc.)
- Identification flagship initiatives that UNGIS’s members will jointly develop and implement toward the common agenda.
- Identification of priority key actions of UNGIS for accelerating digital transformation in coordinating outcomes from multi-stakeholder processes like WSIS and IGF to accelerate and shape the Global Digital Compact principles
- Strengthened UNGIS’s members engagement and synergies at regional and global levels (IGF 2022, Africa WSIS Forum 2022 Regional Review meeting, etc.)
- It will be held in a hybrid format allowing onsite and online participation.
- [Physical venue]: Bingu International Conference Centre, Lilongwe Malawi
- [Virtual]: Recording of session
PARTICIPANTS LIST OF SPEAKERS
- Mr. Jean-Paul Adam, Director Technology, Climate Change and Natural Resources Management Division, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa
- Ms. Anne-Rachel Inné, Regional Director for Africa, International Telecommunication Union
- Ms. Pilar Fajarnes, Chief of Digital Economy Policy Research Section, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
- TBC, UNDP
- Mr. Joe Hironaka, Programme Specialist, Digital Innovation and Transformation Communication and Information Sector, UNESCO
- Mr. Said Rutabayiro Ngoga, Technology Innovation Division Head, Rwanda Information Society Authority (RISA), WSIS Prize Winner 2021 for WSIS Action Line C8: Cultural diversity and identity, linguistic diversity and local content
- Ms. Muizzat Adams, a representative from Women in Technology in Nigeria (WITIN), WSIS Prize 2022 Champion for the WSIS Action Line C7: E-employment
- TBC, Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority, WSIS Prize Champion 2020 for WSIS Action Line C2: information and communication infrastructure.
- Mr. Mactar Seck, Chief of Technology and Innovation Section, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa
- Ms. Gitanjali Sah, Strategy and Policy Coordinator, International Telecommunication Union
Links & attachments
- Please note some attachments are only available to UNGIS members.