Remarks by Mr. John Davies on behalf of International Chamber of Commerce

  • 16 May 2011

Business Action to Support the Information Society (ICC-BASIS), Chair of the ICT Policy Committee of the USCIB, Paris at the Opening Session of the WSIS Forum May 16, 2011

Business Action to Support the Information Society (ICC-BASIS), Chair of the ICT Policy Committee of the USCIB, Paris at the Opening Session of the WSIS Forum May 16, 2011


The ICC is the largest, most representative business organization in the world

  • ICC has hundreds of thousands of member companies in over 130 countries with interests spanning every sector of private enterprise.
  • ICC cooperates with local and global administrations like the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, and other bodies, associations and governments and informs them about the views of international business

For example, ICC is very active in the Internet Governance Forum (IGF):

  • IGF provides for an multi stakeholder process in both planning and execution and a program in which leaders and experts from the various parts of the Internet Governance ecosystem get together to share experiences and learn about issues and best practices from each other.
  • The IGF process is important because it allows all stakeholders to participate on equal footing and its format allows for substantive and timely dialogue about the fundamentals as well as the pressing Internet issues of the day.
  • The continuation of the IGF mandate is one of cornerstone accomplishments since the WSIS Forum in 2010.
  • IGF provides an open, multi-stakeholder planned program in which leaders from the various parts of the Internet Governance ecosystem get together to listen and learn about issue and best practices from each other.
  • The IGF supports humans and institutions solving Internet policy issues.
  • The IGF future is under discussion, the progress and further improvements are envisioned, but the essential ingredients of the IGF should survive to maintain this one-of-a-kind opportunity.

The United Nations Millennium Summit, held in September 2000:

  • Defined a set of goals to be achieved for a more peaceful, prosperous and just world.
  • The UN Millennium Declaration (8 September 2000) contains a commitment to “ensure that the benefits of new technologies, especially information and communication technologies … are available to all“.

This UN commitment resulted in definition of the Millennium Development Goals*

Information and Communication Technologies educate, entertain and enrich our lives

ICT, together with other tools, helps to achieve the much broader goals of the Millennium Declaration

The eight Millennium Declaration Goals can be divided into four sub-themes of the Plan of Action supported by World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS):

  • Development and poverty eradication
  • Democracy and governance
  • Our common heritage: cultural diversity and sustainable development
  • Protecting the vulnerable and meeting the special needs of Africa

WSIS is in the implementation phase now, WSIS goals are progressing well:

  • towards achieving a common vision, desire and commitment to build a people-centric, development-oriented Information Society
  • where everyone can create, access, utilize and share information.

Congratulate the ITU and the Government of Mexico on the completion of the 2010 Plenipotentiary Conference in Guadalajara, Mexico

  • ICC members were globally active contributors in the Plenipotentiary Conference.
  • One of the Plenipotentiary Conference outcomes was a new resolution on “Overall review of implementation of the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society”
  • This resolution calls for an overall review of the implementation of the Summit outcomes in 2015 and
  • mandates ITU to work together with other UN agencies to conduct this review, involving all stakeholders.

The Internet and ICTs empower people:

  • They eliminate distance as a limiting factor and
  • They reduce many other barriers as well.
  • Innovation and growth are the fundamental drivers of the Internet and ICTs.

Intel runs an intensive World Ahead program to help improving education, healthcare and local economies through use of ICT technologies.

I’m the General Manger of this program

There is a need for 3Es:

  • Education
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Employment/Economy.

The ICT technology is the key to 3Es and industry lead by Intel are intensively working on creating more affordable technology.

The challenging issue is the access to the affordable internet

  • the high speed broadband infrastructures are rare
  • the broadband costs are mostly too high for the majority of potential users in the emerging economies.
  • The technological progress in race against the rapidly increasing world population which is commonly considered as a biggest threat to prosperity.
  • The poverty prohibits access to Internet.

We have to win this race and connect billions of world citizens to the Internet as soon as possible:

  • Lower the broadband costs around the world to enable an affordable Internet to the disconnected citizens
  • Develop and offer to the new users the affordable broadband packages like pre-paid connectivity tariffs together with the low costs PCs.

The Broadband Commission for Digital Development was established in 2010 thanks the ITU Secretary General, Dr. Hamadoun Touré

The Broadband Commission promotes the adoption of broadband-friendly practices and policies and demonstrates that broadband networks:

  • have the same level of importance as roads and electricity networks;
  • they are basic infrastructure in a modern society;
  • are uniquely powerful tools for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs);
  • offer an impressive return-on-investment (ROI) for both developed and developing economies;

The Broadband Commission has reported its findings to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York in September 2010, immediately before the UN summit hold to review the works on achieving the Millennium Development Goals

  • the target date for MDGs is 2015 and there are only five years left before then,
  • broadband networks are an essential and uniquely powerful tool for achieving the Millennium Goals
  • broadband networks are lifting people out of poverty worldwide

Closing remarks:

  • the WSIS meeting offers global business the chances to learn what others are doing,
  • think not only about what more we can do,
  • think also about how to cooperate with others to connect more people
  • use the multi-stakeholder forums like the IGF and WSIS action lines forum to build a more robust and participatory Internet environment that can expand and extend across the globe