Concluding in the early hours of the weekend, the commission adopted its first draft resolution on the Assessment of the progress made in the implementation of and follow-up to the outcomes of the WSIS since the high-level 10-year WSIS review by the UN General Assembly (UNGA) concluded in December last year with the 10-year renewal of the WSIS mandate. The resolution drafted for adoption at the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) high-level segment on 11-22 July 2016, set out the first assessment since the mandate renewal, which required significant updating since the last resolution and in addition to the review needed to put forward the Chair’s proposal for the new Working Group on Enhanced Cooperation as mandated in the UNGA resolution 70/125.
Business interest and involvement were also amplified on the topic of how WSIS goals align with the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the important role multistakeholder cooperation and private-public partnerships will to play in their advancement.
ICC’s consultative status with ECOSOC offers a unique opportunity for ICC representatives to participate in the meeting and voice opinions in the negotiations showcasing the value of private sector contributions to the advancement of SDGs through Information and communication technologies (ICTs) and highlighting necessary policy conditions for business to continue driving innovation to bring the Internet’s promise to more communities, and help communities already online take better advantage of that access.
Multistakeholder collaboration is essential to maximizing the potential of ICT while addressing issues that are relevant locally and respecting local cultural and social norms.
Addressing the CSTD high-level roundtable on Review of progress made in the implementation of WSIS outcomes Executive Director of the ICC Department of Policy and Business Practices Stefano Bertasi said, “Multistakeholder collaboration is essential to maximizing the potential of ICT while addressing issues that are relevant locally and respecting local cultural and social norms.”
He added, “The WSIS process and the underlying principles of the Geneva Declaration and Tunis Agenda have created an atmosphere for dialogue and action that have preserved and promoted the flexible Internet that allows for the freedom to innovate and connect.”
ICC’s representative at the negotiations, ICC Commission on the Digital Economy Senior Policy Executive and ICC BASIS Project Director Elizabeth Thomas-Raynaud highlighted the importance of CSTD as the focal point to ECOSOC for the annual WSIS review. She said: “CSTD has a track record of being ahead of the curve in demonstrating openness to meaningful engagement of stakeholders to strengthen its outputs. We count on the CSTD within the capacity of its role to advise ECOSOC, to leverage its relevant experts and the community of stakeholders it now has a history of engaging to fully and openly consider policy implications and options on this important topic.”
The CSTD is a subsidiary body of ECOSOC that, as part of this mandate, provides the UNGA and ECOSOC with high-level advice on relevant science and technology issues and serves as the focal point in the system-wide follow-up to the outcomes of WSIS. The CSTD’s annual sessions are the venue for the drafting of ECOSOC resolutions on Science, Technology and Innovation for Development and Assessment of the progress made in the implementation of and follow-up to the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society. ICC BASIS is a regular interlocutor of the CSTD on matters of relevance and importance to global business.
Ahead of the CSTD session ICC BASIS also participated in the WSIS Forum in Geneva on 2-6 May, co-hosted by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), which lead the organization of the event, in close collaboration with all WSIS Action Line Facilitators and Co-Facilitators. ICC BASIS member Dominique Lazanski (GSMA) delivered the high-level perspective on behalf of ICC at the opening ceremony and Ms Thomas-Raynaud participated as the moderator of a high-level policy session on ICT Applications and Services.
ICC BASIS serves as the voice of global business in the international dialogue that has emerged on how information and communication technologies can better serve as engines of sustainable development. While a special project of ICC, BASIS advocates global policy positions developed by the ICC Commission on Digital Economy and the Commission Chair serves as an ex-officio member of the ICC BASIS Officers.
For more information
To learn more please visit ICC Business Action to Support the Internet Society (BASIS).
Read ICC BASIS’ intervention at the 19th Session of the CSTD High-level roundtable here.
Read ICC BASIS’ intervention at the High Level Opening Session of the WSIS Forum 2016 here.
Follow ICC BASIS on Twitter @ICC_BASIS.