The session presented an opportunity for IGF participants to provide feedback on the most recent iteration of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) implementation review currently under negotiation at the United Nations (UN). It was also an occasion to share with the WSIS+10 co-facilitators overall impressions of the review process so far.
WSIS+10 co-facilitators, Ambassador of Latvia Janis Mazeiks and Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates Lana Zaki Nusseibeh gave a brief account of on-going preparations for the high level meeting that will take place on 15-16 December 2015. In her opening remarks Ambassador Zaki Nusseibeh, emphasized the importance of governments and non-government stakeholders having a voice and input into the process: “Ensuring the achievement of a people-centered, inclusive and development oriented Information Society requires the broadest sense of ownership and the best ideas from every part of the world and there is resounding acknowledgment that the IGF enables both elements” Ms Zaki Nusseibeh said
The session provided an opportunity for ICC BASIS to reinstate global business messages advocated throughout the WSIS+10 process underlining the imperative of enabling the unrealised potential of information communication technologies (ICTs) to move society towards the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and the ways in which the private sector has remained deeply engaged – investing and innovating in these advancements. Underscoring the renewal of the IGF mandate as crucial to preserve a vibrant, global, multistakeholder policy dialogue on Internet governance, ICC BASIS has recommended the IGF mandate be extended through 2030 to align with the United Nations (UN) SDGs calling for further alignment with the sustainable development goals.
ICC BASIS Officer Joe Alhadeff of Oracle was first to the microphone for business to underscore the tremendous importance of capacity building. “Education is required related to the use of technology in sustainable development” he said, “because failures are not due to the technology itself but to the conditions of the implementation or the lack of education and/or skills training around it.”
Ensuring the achievement of a people-centered, inclusive and development oriented Information Society requires the broadest sense of ownership and the best ideas from every part of the world and there is resounding acknowledgment that the IGF enables both elements.
Chair of Africa ICT Alliance (AfICTA) and ICC BASIS member Jimson Olufuye, and supported the statement, adding that national IGFs should be established for more people to understand the subject matter. He also included key messages relating to cyber security and the right to information.
Cyber security was also the theme of ICC BASIS Project Director, Elizabeth Thomas-Raynaud’s intervention when she called for the inclusion of the Budapest Convention in the WSIS+10 draft. Ms Thomas-Raynaud supported calls to include greater references to cyber security activities happening in civil society and the private sector – pointing to ICC’s work in this space. This point was echoed by ICC BASIS member Carolyn Nguyen of Microsoft who urged explicit reference to other cyber security work that’s not in the UN, such as the work of the organisation of economic cooperation and development (OECD).
Emphasizing the role of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in ICT for development ICC BASIS Officer Hossam El-Gamal referred to local solutions for e-health in Africa and e-learning solutions that are serving remote and underdeveloped areas. Reinforcing BASIS messages on the importance of linking the WSIS action lines and IGF mandate to the recently launched SDGs, El-Gamal noted how technology is enriching businesses and serving the SDGs.
ICC BASIS and its cross sector membership of businesses and associations from around the world were active contributors both during the WSIS Summits which took place in Geneva (2003) and Tunis (2005) and in post-WSIS processes and forums as well as during the various preparatory stages of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) high level review.
ICC BASIS is committed to working with all stakeholders on developing an enabling environment for ICTs to flourish and continue fuelling the engine working towards the ambitious but worthy societal and economic goals of the 2030 agenda.
The recording and transcript of this session can be found here.
A video recording of the session can be found here.