Trade & investment

Business urges concept of Global Alliance

  • 20 April 2005

International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Secretary General Maria Livanos Cattaui supported the concept of a global alliance on ICTs for development and the information society at the Eighth Meeting of the United Nations Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) Task Force in Dublin last week.

The global alliance is envisioned to build upon the invaluable work started by initiatives such as the United Nations ICT Task Force, G8 Dot Force, the World Summit on the Information Society and the Working Group on Internet Governance.

ICC maintains that the key to a successful global alliance lies in an open, transparent, and neutral multistakeholder forum, made up of equal and committed partners, and shaped by the successes and lessons learned from past initiatives. Business also recommends that such an alliance should have an affiliation with the UN Secretary-General and keep a clear focus on ICTs and the information society.

“ICC stands ready to consult with its worldwide network of businesses to contribute to the Global Alliance initiative,” said Mrs Cattaui. “Business has an essential role to play alongside all other stakeholders in order to ensure that ICTs and the Internet are utilized comprehensively to nurture economic growth and social development. The Global Alliance initiative is particularly relevant to developing countries but also presents an excellent opportunity to shape the development of ICTs and the information society in general.”

During the meeting, Mrs Cattaui stressed that a core budget for the alliance should be funded, and that financing should ensure sufficient continuity with full transparency and accountability. She suggested that financing could also include and recognize voluntary and in-kind contributions as well as intellectual input.

“Above all, we must keep in mind the purpose for such an alliance,” she said. “That is to ensure there is an ongoing multistakeholder platform for the discussion of key ICT, development and information society issues.”

The UN Information and Communication Technologies Task Force has been a productive and constructive forum of committed representatives from all stakeholder groups around the world. The consultative meeting which took place on Friday set out to develop concrete proposals for the Global Alliance initiative.