Speech of ICC Secretary General John Danilovich at World Summit on the information Society +10 Review

  • 16 December 2015

Speech of ICC Secretary General John Danilovich at World Summit on the information Society +10 Review

Ministers, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen

I am John Danilovich, Secretary General of the International Chamber of Commerce, the world’s largest-and most representative business organization-with over 6.5 million members in some 130 countries.

In September, I spoke in this building to underscore the global business community’s strong and overarching commitment to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

It is clear that the decisions taken by governments as part of the WSIS review will have a significant bearing on the success of these new “Global Goals” and I am grateful for the opportunity to set out the business community’s vision for outcomes from the WSIS review that will help us all to deliver on the potential and promise of the SDGs.

ICTs are clearly central to each of the 17 SDGs.

Simply put: if we want to help people feed, heal, educate and employ themselves… we need to ensure they can benefit from the Internet and not just use, but also create, related technologies and services that are relevant to themselves, their communities, and their countries.

Despite significant advances in the last ten years, more needs to be done to ensure that everyone has access to the Internet and that all people can be empowered by using it to transform their lives and economies.

The challenge of connecting the world will require us to better understand persistent barriers and focus actions on overcoming these in the years ahead…

The emphasis placed by the draft WSIS outcomes on bridging the variety of digital divide including the “gender divide” in many countries and regions reflects the importance of this to all of us.

In addressing these issues we urge you to recognize that the engagement of business, with its own unique voice will be vital to connect people, communities and things to unleash and leverage the full potential of technology…to achieve our common goals in the development of vibrant digital economies and to have inclusive information societies that deliver societal benefit.

Connecting the world is a vital first step: but we also need to take common action to build a secure and trustworthy Internet. As business, we fully recognize that a global culture of cybersecurity needs to be: promoted, further developed, and better implemented in cooperation with all stakeholders and international expert bodies.

And we encourage governments to note the growing number of multistakeholder initiatives dedicated to cybersecurity capacity building at the local, national, regional, and global level…and their significant potential to enable a new global culture of cybersecurity.

Finally, we commend the outcome of this review for reaffirming the importance of cooperative and collective action among all stakeholders in managing the global governance of the Internet.

And we applaud that the review recognizes that if we are to maximize the potential of ICTs to promote sustainable and inclusive development it is crucial that the future of the Internet is shaped through… an open, inclusive and truly mutistakeholder process.

The Internet Governance Forum has become a unique means for identifying issues and solutions relevant across stakeholders and economies, with a special focus on those addressing developing world concerns, through a collaborative approach, on an equal footing and in an unfettered and open environment.

We therefore fully support the proposed renewal of the IGF mandate for 10 years.

In addition, business remains engaged in  implementing  improvements to the IGF to build on its important strengths to enhance the community’s ability to continue addressing complex problems and the challenges of the future.

In particular, we strongly support the call to increase participation of business representatives and stakeholders from developing countries and encourage the IGF Multistakeholder Advisory Group… to prioritise working collectively on proposals for addressing this in 2016…building and strengthening links, wherever possible, on existing national and regional IGF initiatives and enable sharing of information globally on the practices that have successfully addressed these challenges.

In conclusion, we strongly encourage any future review of the implementation of the WSIS outcomes to maintain the important principles of an open, inclusive multistakeholder Internet and commend the decision to align with the 2030 agenda review

And we stress that all reviews of WSIS should be undertaken in an open and fully-inclusive manner with all stakeholders participating.

To support this, we request the Secretary-General…. and international organizations with a role in WSIS follow-up to intensify their efforts to develop effective mechanisms for full participation of non-governmental stakeholders…to more fully integrate their activities within development frameworks and processes.

The Internet-underpinned by earlier WSIS decisions-has already had a transformational effect on our societies.

This review can provide a footing that will enable us to work collaboratively to help deliver a brighter and more prosperous future for all by 2030.

We urge you to seize this opportunity in the true spirit of cooperation at the very heart of the WSIS and the SDGs.  Thank you.