ICTs empower billions of individuals around the world with wide ranging applications cutting across sectoral boundaries in agricultural productivity; population, health and education; transportation; industry, trade and finance; climate change and protection of our environment; as well as for the prevention and management of disasters, among many others;
The vital role of ICTs as a catalyst for development is specifically recognized in the new development framework Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which acknowledges that “the spread of information and communication technology and global interconnectedness has great potential to accelerate human progress and to develop knowledge societies, to bridge the digital divide and to develop knowledge societies, as does scientific and technological innovation across areas as diverse as medicine and energy”.
ICTs are identified as targets in the SDG goals for education, gender equality, infrastructure (universal and affordable access to the internet) and in the implementation goal as a cross cutting tool to be utilized for the achievement of all of the SDGs. The effective implementation of the WSIS Action Lines can help accelerate the achievement of the SDGs. To that end, the WSIS SDGs Matrix, developed by the UN Action line Facilitators, clearly shows the linkage between each Action line and the 17 SDGs and provides rationale for each.
In order to strengthen global efforts towards the use of ICTs for SDGs the ITU has evolved the WSIS Stocktaking platform to provide a global repository of projects implementing in this regard. Moreover, recognizing excellence in the implementation of WSIS Outcomes, ITU initiated the WSIS Prizes that awards 18 winners each year at the WSIS Forum. The WSIS Prizes contest provides the platform to identify and showcase the success stories and models that could be replicated, to empower the community at the local level. This year the Prizes will highlight the linkages of the projects with the SDGs.
This session will provide an opportunity, in a multistakeholder format, to discuss the new opportunities for strengthening international efforts in transfer of know-how in the implementation of the WSIS Action Lines and for identification of best practices in the ICT ecosystem, thereby focusing on WSIS Stocktaking, WSIS Prizes and the annual meeting of the WSIS stakeholders, i.e. WSIS Forum. The outcomes of this session will serve as an input to the Open Consultation Process of the WSIS Forum to be held from 2 to 6 May 2016 in Geneva, Switzerland.
Mr Malcolm Johnson, Deputy Secretary General, ITU
• Vice- Minister Policy Coordination, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, JAPAN (tbc)
• H.E. Ms Magdalena Gaj, President of the Office of Electronic Communications (UKE), POLAND; Chairman of WSIS Forum 2015
• Director-General / Deputy Director General, TRA, UAE
• Mr Patrick Nyirishema, Director General , Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency (RURA), RWANDA
• Mr Fadi Chehadi, CEO, ICANN
• Mr Stephen Ibaraki, Founding Chair Global Industry Council, Vice-chair IP3 Board, INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION FOR INFORMATION PROCESSING