ICC BASIS Closing Statement at the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD)(2)

  • 21 May 2010

Thank you Chair, distinguished delegates

Thank you Chair, distinguished delegates

On behalf of ICC members and members of ICC’s initiative, Business Action to Support the Information Society which include companies and associations from all sectors and geographies and of all sizes. We appreciate the opportunity to be with you at CSTD and to participate in sessions on the WSIS outcomes, enhanced cooperation and Internet Governance Forum, as well as to observe during the drafting sessions on these topics. Like governments, business shares broad interests in both areas of the CSTD’s focus – science and technology for development and its role in the WSIS follow up. We recognize its valuable role in these two areas. Business agrees that innovations in science and technology are critical to economic and social growth and development. So we also thank ECOSOC and CSTD for the opportunity to be present for all the sessions including those on gender and science and technology, and renewable energy.

Business is also pleased that this week’s discussions have stressed the importance of ICTs and science and technology overall to improving the lives of people around the world, including through achieving the MDGs. Business appreciates the hard work that all undertook to develop CSTD’s Resolutions to ECOSOC. Many long hours were devoted to listening and striving together to find commonly acceptable language. We find that in all of these interactions, exchanges of views and perspectives can help to build understanding of all perspectives. Business supports the importance of CSTD’s deliberations and resolutions. Therefore, looking ahead, we hope that the record of this meeting and the call by many for participation of all in the WSIS-related activities will inform the ECOSOC and General Assembly (GA) deliberations that the importance of non-governmental stakeholders’ participation is reflected in ECOSOC and GA resolutions. Business believes that the ECOSOC and GA should take into account and reflect the multist eholder spirit of the Tunis Agenda in the successful building of a people centred, inclusive and development-oriented Information Society. We appreciate the thoughtful approach that the CSTD embodies in its understanding of the linkage of innovation, ICTs, and governance issues is indeed unique. We look forward to future CSTD meetings and welcome these occasions to share our thoughts and benefit from the perspectives of others. In addition to participating in the CSTD, ICC BASIS is actively involved in other post-WSIS processes and related events. We join many member states and stakeholders who have expressed their support for the IGF business fully supports the IGF and its continuity in its current multistakeholder format operating under its founding principles.
The IGF is a special opportunity for all stakeholders to exchange views on important substantive issues of Internet governance in a space that allows for frank discussion, sharing of best practices, and forging of communications and relationships that are essential for effective policy development, especially because it is a non-negotiating forum. We have been active in all of the IGFs and are planning strong business participation at the next IGF in Lithuania. We applaud the national and regional IGF related initiatives that have emerged in the past few years to increase awareness and participation in Internet governance, and the continued development of an inclusive Information society. The IGF is unique, attendees come as leaders in their respective communities who voice what is important to them, while in the process, we get a deeper understanding of what is important to others. This is incredibly valuable. We applaud the contributions of the IGF Hosts, the MAG members, Nitin Desai (the MAG Chair) and the GF Secretariat, especially Markus Kummer for their efforts which have helped establish the open environment for all stakeholders that have been essential to the IGF successes. We strongly encourage all member states and stakeholders to participate in the IGF and contribute to this open dialogue. We also urge all to support the IGF’s continuity with its multistakeholder founding principles intact. While the science and technology discussions of CSTD may to some seem only slightly related to the discussions of WSIS and the Internet Governance Forum, business depends on innovation and believes that global ICT infrastructure, services and applications provide a critical platform for scientific research, technological development and innovation.

While individual researchers may collect and analyze data in their individual laboratory, researchers generally increasingly also need to

  • focus on matters related to global challenges,
  • network with interdisciplinary research collaborators in tackling complex scientific challenges,
  • instrument and connect geographically diverse observatories,
  • access high performance computers,
  • share, process, and computationally model data or synthesize processes they have observed or
  • publish their work on electronic journals,
  • etc.

Thus today’s scientists and researchers not only contribute to the Information Society and its capabilities, but also are enabled by them. As a consequence, the development and application of the shared principles, norms, rules, decision-making procedures, and programmes that shape the evolution and use of the Internet should be important to scientific and technology communities. These principles contribute to the working definition of Internet Governance. They allow the Internet to work and to grow. Thus, the unique IGF platform that promotes the frank exchange of views, best practices, and experiences among all stakeholders on any Internet Governance issue facilitates the continued growth and development of the Internet Governance ecosystem that supports the Information Society, and its science and technology communities.

In this context, we welcome the discussions that will take place about continuing enhanced cooperation to advance the development of a people centred information society. We believe that this can best be accomplished by working together through multistakeholder processes. We also appreciate the welcome that we received from the CSTD, UNCTAD (the CSTD secretariat), all attendees and the productive interactions that we have had with the many delegates. For most of this CSTD meeting, our role has been one of observers. Thus, we welcome this opportunity to voice our views. We note that the ideas expressed in our initial inputs into this meeting have been reflected in the comments of many delegations during the meeting.

Thank for your attention and consideration.