Recognizing WSIS Impacts

Unless it acknowledges key characteristics of the Internet, the World Summit on the Information Society will easily undermine it

PP Resolution 124


PP RESOLUTION 124 (Rev. Antalya, 2006)

Support for the New Partnership for Africa’s Development

The Plenipotentiary Conference of the International Telecommunication Union (Antalya, 2006),

  • considering
    • the provisions of the ITU Constitution, as contained in Chapter IV thereof on the Telecommunication Development Sector (ITU-D), particularly with regard, inter alia, to the functions of ITU-D for building awareness of the impact of telecommunications on national economic and social development, its catalytic role in promoting the development, expansion and operation of telecommunication services and networks, especially in developing countries, and the need to maintain and enhance cooperation with regional and other telecommunication organizations,
  • considering further
    • Resolution 31 (Rev. Marrakesh, 2002) of the Plenipotentiary Conference, on telecommunication infrastructure for socio-economic and cultural development, which highlights:
      • - telecommunications as a prerequisite for development;
      • - the impact of telecommunications on agriculture, health, education, transport, human settlement, etc.;
      • - the continuing decline in development resources available to developing countries,
  • noting
    • a) that, in their declarations and resolutions, world telecommunication development conferences (WTDC) have reaffirmed a commitment to enhancing expansion and development of telecommunication services in developing countries and harnessing capacity for the application of new and innovative services;
    • b) the adoption of the Doha Action Plan, incorporating key chapters on global information infrastructure development and the special programme for least developed countries,
  • aware
    • that the Council, in its Resolution 1184 on WTDC (Istanbul, 2002), urged that conference to place special emphasis on the problem of “bridging the digital divide”,
  • taking note of
    • a) the recognition by the United Nations General Assembly in its Resolution 56/37 of the adoption by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity at its thirty-seventh ordinary session (Lusaka, July 2001) of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD);
    • b) the actions for NEPAD set out in annex hereto;
    • c) the declaration by the Economic and Social Council on the role of the United Nations system in supporting the efforts of African countries to achieve sustainable development,
  • taking cognizance of
    • a) the operative paragraphs of Resolution 56/218 of the United Nations General Assembly, on the final review and appraisal of the United Nations New Agenda for the Development of Africa, relating to consideration of plans and modalities during 2002 for future engagement with NEPAD and calling on the United Nations system and the international community to support the New African Initiative and to ensure effective representation;
    • b) the outcomes of the Geneva (2003) and Tunis (2005) phases of the World Summit on the Information Society and the work under way to implement the African Regional Action Plan for the Knowledge Economy (ARAPKE);
    • c) the call made on 23 November 2004 by the Summit of the NEPAD Heads of State and Government Implementing Committee (HSGIC) for an effective implementation of the NEPAD information and communication technology (ICT) programme;
    • d) the request made in the Abuja Declaration of African ministers in charge of telecommunications and ICT concerning infrastructure development, to provide appropriate financial resources to support NEPAD ICT activities,
  • recognizing
    • that, in spite of the impressive growth and expansion in telecommunications/ICTs recorded in the African region since WTDC (Valletta, 1998), many areas of major concern still exist and considerable disparities persist in the region, and the digital divide continues to widen,
  • recognizing further
    • that ICT development and the development of telecommunication infrastructures in Africa require regional and interregional support for the programmes and initiatives,
  • resolves to instruct the Director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau
    • to pay particular attention to implementation of the provisions of the ITU-D Action Plan relating to support for NEPAD, earmarking resources so that this can be permanently monitored,
  • requests the Secretary-General
    • to mobilize and release appropriate financial resources for activities to support NEPAD, in particular from the ICT Development Fund.
  • ANNEX TO RESOLUTION 124 (Rev. Antalya, 2006)
    • Actions for NEPAD
      • 1 Infrastructure
        • i) Preparation of master plans for ICT infrastructure development
        • ii) Facilitation of the introduction of digital technologies, especially for broadcasting
        • iii) Support for all projects which promote ICT development and subregional and regional integration, for example, the East African Submarine Cable project (EASSy), the NEPAD e-school initiative, RASCOM, e-Post Africa, COMTEL, SRII, INTELCOM II, the ARAPKE projects, etc.
        • iv) Establishment and interconnection of national Internet exchange points
        • v) Evaluation of the impact and adoption of measures for strengthening functional capacities and the new missions of subregional maintenance centres
        • vi) Encourage the establishment of technological alliances in order to promote research and development at a regional level
      • 2 Environment: development and implementation
        • i) An Africa-wide vision, strategy and action plan for ICT
        • ii) A national vision and strategies for the development of ICT with maximum linkage to other national development strategies, notably the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP)
        • iii) Elaboration of a national policy framework and strategy for universal access
        • iv) Provision of support for the harmonization of policy and regulatory frameworks at the subregional level
      • 3 Capacity building, cooperation and partnerships
        • i) Support to the African Telecommunications Union by providing administrative support and assistance in technical expertise
        • ii) Support for the elaboration of the planning and management of the frequency spectrum at national, subregional and regional levels
        • iii) Support the strengthening of ICT training institutions and the network of centres of excellence in the region
        • iv) Establishment of a cooperation mechanism amongst regional institutions that provide development assistance to African countries in the ICT sector
        • v) Establishment of an ad hoc regional ICT think tank
        • vi) Strengthening of subregional telecommunication regulatory associations
        • vii) Strengthening of public-private partnership
        • viii) Establishment of an African ICT database
        • ix) Strengthening the capacities of regional economic communities (RECs) for better implementation of the ICT projects and initiatives
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