Collaboration with ITU, UNDESA and UNESCO at the WSIS Forum

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  • 2016•05•12     Geneva

    In addition to the UNU-EGOV workshop on “ICT-Based Cost and Burden Reduction in Public Administration and Service Delivery“, Tomasz Janowski contributed to the WSIS Forum 2016 as:

    1. Facilitator of the High-Level Policy Session “WSIS Action Lines and the 2030 Agenda”,
    2. Speaker and moderator at the UNESCO session “SDG16: Promoting Peaceful and Inclusive Knowledge Societies” and
    3. Panelist at the UNDESA and ITU session on the Action Line C7 (e-Government).

    The High-Level Policy Session “WSIS Action Lines and the 2030 Agenda” responded to the call for close alignment between the WSIS and SDG processes by the UN General Assembly resolution on the overall review of the outcomes of WSIS from December 2015. The session was attended by: João Bernardo Vieira, Secretary of State for Transport and Communication of Guinea-Bissau; Nikolay Nikiforov, Minister of Telecom and Mass Communications of the Russian Federation; Samantha Jayasuriya, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the UN, on behalf of the Group of Fifteen; Shola Taylor, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO); Leon Strous, President of the International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP); Jovan Kurbalija, Head of DiploFoundation and Geneva Internet Platform; and Doreen Bogdan, Chief of Strategic Planning and Membership Department, ITU. The speakers shared experiences and insights from Africa, Asia and Europe, covering the issues of infrastructure, services, legislation, innovation, entrepreneurship, and capacity building.

    Particular WSIS action lines covered:

    • C1 – promotion of professional ICT communities;
    • C2 – mobile infrastructure;
    • C4 – building capacity of local ICT communities;
    • C5 – cyber security;
    • C6 – government regulation and incentives;
    • C7 – e-government, e-business, e-learning, e-health, e-employment and e-financing;
    • C8 – local content creation;
    • C10 – inclusive policy processes; and
    • C11 – regional initiatives and validation of the multi-stakeholder WSIS process.

    Particular SDGs covered:

    • SDG1 – affordable social rates for Internet access for the poor;
    • SDG3 – regional health information systems;
    • SDG4 – education through ICT and educating ICT professionals;
    • SDG8 – broadband infrastructure helping create jobs in small settlements;
    • SDG9 – promoting, incentivizing and financing ICT innovation and entrepreneurship;
    • SDG10 – involvement of small and developing states in inclusive policy processes;
    • SDG11 – universal provision of the Internet to all small villages and settlements;
    • SDG16 – access to information, inclusive policy-making, and institutional and individual capacity building on the local level; and
    • SDG17 – collaborative regulation and policy-making, high-level ownership but local level engagement, multi-stakeholder partnerships.

    The summary of this session is available here (pages 24 to 27) and the video capture is available here (session) and here (conclusions).

    The UNESCO session “SDG16: Promoting Peaceful and Inclusive Knowledge Societies” focused on SDG16 as a tool to promote peaceful and inclusive societies, and how technologies used from different Action Line perspectives can both advance and slow down the achievement of this goal.

    In the introductory speech, Tomasz Janowski recalled the evidence that the next generation Digital Government (the contextualization stage of Digital Government) will define its success relative to the success of Knowledge Societies, that Digital Government and Knowledge Societies are converging. He predicted that Digital Government will become, as we get closer to the 2030 deadline for SDGs, not only an enabler but an essential infrastructure for the development of Knowledge Societies. This synergy, if realized through further research, policy and practice, and with active international coordination will further benefit the realization of SDG16 and indirectly all other SDGs.

    The session included the round-table discussion on “Protecting fundamental freedoms and promoting diversity of cultural expression” attended by: Paul BlakerHead of International ICT at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport in the United Kingdom; Dragana Korljanhuman rights officer in the Special Procedures Branch in the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights; Nicolas Seidler, Senior Policy Advisor at the Internet Society; and François Marien, former Communication Officer in the Directorate General for Equal Opportunities, European Commission; and moderated by Tomasz Janowski. The outcomes of the session are available here (pages 27-30) and the video capture is available here.

    The UNDESA-ITU session on the “Action Line C7 (e-Government)” examined the role of digital technology and its use by public authorities to ensure that nobody is left behind during the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. In his contribution, Tomasz Janowski outlined possible contributions of Digital Government to SDG16 and particularly to the targets 16.6 (transparent institutions), 16.7 (inclusive decision-making) and 16.10 (public access), while taking into account the adverse effects of digitization on governance through, e.g. further polarization of political options; mass manipulation of public sentiment; violations of individual privacy; cybercrime; etc. He also predicted the increasing convergence of Digital Government and Knowledge Societies, and called for closer international coordination by UNDESA (speaking on behalf of Digital Government), UNESCO (speaking on behalf of Knowledge Societies) and ITU (speaking on behalf of ICT) to further the realization of SDG16 and indirectly all other SDGs. The summary of the session is available here (pages 79 to 82) and the video capture is available here.

  • Session 1 Summary 4

    (150.0 KB PDF)