ICC BASIS remarks CSTD 4 May 2015
ICC BASIS opening remarks at the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD), 4 May 2015, Geneva.
Stefano Bertasi, Executive Director, Policy and Business Practices International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)
I am speaking on behalf of the International Chamber of Commerce and its BASIS initiative, Business Action to Support the Information Society.
ICC is the world business organization. It was founded in 1919 by a group of businessmen who believed that world trade offers a path to world peace and prosperity. Today, ICC’s global network comprises over 6 million companies including large multinational corporations as well as small and medium-sized enterprises, chambers of commerce and business associations in more than 130 countries.
Business plays a leading role in developing the enabling potential of innovation and scientific and technological advance, and bringing them to bear on global challenges such as health, the environment and food security. Diffusion and adoption of existing and new technologies remain a challenge in many countries.
The private sector, through collaboration with governments in public-private partnerships and with other stakeholders can help create solutions. But adequate market and regulatory conditions combined with available local knowledge and capacity are essential.
The private sector will continue to account for the vast majority of investment in R&D and innovation that will be indispensable to advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Global and national governance frameworks that foster innovation are critical.
Business recognizes that infrastructure is the backbone of economies and that additional efforts are needed to improve investment in infrastructure in emerging and developing countries in particular. This is especially the case for information and communication infrastructure that provides essential links between regional and global value chains.
Business believes that governments play a key role in stimulating investments which they cannot make themselves given the magnitude of these projects. It is therefore vital, that governments work to eliminate the barriers that currently hinder private sector development and investment.
The CSTD plays a critical role in addressing science and technology issues that affect economic and social development and the follow up of the WSIS. Global business attaches great value to the CSTD’s commitment to work on these issues and to business participation in these meetings.
Considerable progress has been made since the WSIS, in large part because of the forward looking framework established by the WSIS principles and action lines.
ICC BASIS considers that a clear lesson from the last ten years is that the best formula for success is for all stakeholders to work collaboratively toward common goals.
One of clearest successes of the WSIS is the blossoming of the Internet Governance Forum. It has grown into the premier forum for all stakeholders interested in the information society. Each year, ICC BASIS members participate in the IGF and its preparations, demonstrating the value of the forum to the businesses community.
The Post-WSIS processes and IGF have played an essential role in enabling productive dialogue among stakeholders. This has allowed multistakeholder participation to provide constructive inputs that can support work in other fora.
We need to put all our efforts together to ensure that this outstanding forum for pluralistic an inclusive dialogue is extended when the renewal comes up later this year.