Thank you Chair and thanks to the hosts. My name is Keith Drazek, I am Director of Policy for VeriSign, and I appreciate the opportunity to provide these comments on behalf of the International Chamber of Commerce, ICC and its BASIS initiative, Business Action to Support the information society. ICC has actively contributed to the WSIS process through the Coordinating Committee of Business Interlocutors (CCBI) throughout the WSIS Geneva and Tunis events, and now through BASIS in the post-WSIS activities.
We are pleased to have participated in the WSIS action lines Forum 2010 and look forward to bringing business experience and activities to the next event in 2011. ICC BASIS has consistently provided input stressing the importance of focusing sessions on concrete initiatives that demonstrate the efforts of all stakeholders to implement the goals of the WSIS action lines; however more can be done in this area to ensure all projects encompassing the efforts of all stakeholders are appropriately highlighted. There have been some sessions that did provide real examples of such concrete projects such as the ICT 4D Bangladesh thematic workshop and the community media session among others; these sessions provided excellent examples of initiatives being taken by a range of stakeholders to fulfill the goals of the action lines, they were informative and inspiring. We would encourage the WSIS action lines forum and facilitation process to build on such sessions and ensure that a broader range of stakeholder activities a highlighted in future events.
We suggest issuing a specific call to stakeholders to help identify more such initiatives and shaping the programme this year to really emphasize such sessions. This will also encourage the sharing of experience by creators of these initiatives which is beneficial to all stakeholders and can motivate the formation of new partnerships and initiatives.
In response to a call for cooperative efforts among the action lines facilitators, we were pleased to see the cooperation of ITU, UNESCO, UNDP and UNCTAD and encourage all to build on this effort in the future; we would like to hear more about the activities of all of the facilitators to facilitate the action lines and more about all stakeholders’ activities. The hosting of the WSIS action lines forum by multiple hosts is important. We applaud the improved overall consolidation for the May WSIS related meetings from 3 weeks to 2 weeks last year.
Business, UN organizations, and other stakeholders participate in the IGF preparatory meetings, the WSIS action lines Forum and the CSTD meetings. As we have said many times in the past, it is critical that all remain sensitive to time, financial and human resources available to all stakeholders. Thus we would encourage consideration of having the WSIS action lines Forum take place over 3 days, next to the IGF preparatory meetings to facilitate broad participation and remain sensitive to resources, with only 1 day of overlap at most. We also support the continued hosting of the WSIS action lines Forum in Geneva in 2012 and beyond. This is essential to facilitating participation of all stakeholders and remaining sensitive to limited resources of all. We would also like to recognize the consolidation of all the action lines events in the booklet provided last year, this brought all the events related to all the action lines together in an easy resource to consult. So many activities that are related to the spirit of the WSIS and inspired by the action lines are going on all around the globe, in all regions and motivated by all stakeholders in so many countries. It is important to recognize that many stakeholders work each day on activities, initiatives, projects and partnerships that are fulfilling the objectives of the action lines every day. Not all of them may be captured but it is important to recognize these important efforts.