Recognizing WSIS Impacts

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

PP Resolution 140


PP RESOLUTION 140 (Rev. Guadalajara, 2010)

ITU’s role in implementing the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society

The Plenipotentiary Conference of the International Telecommunication Union (Guadalajara, 2010),

  • recalling
    • a) Resolution 73 (Minneapolis, 1998) of the Plenipotentiary Conference, which achieved its aims in regard to the holding of both phases of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS);
    • b) Resolution 113 (Marrakesh, 2002) of the Plenipotentiary Conference, on WSIS;
    • c) Decision 8 (Marrakesh, 2002) of the Plenipotentiary Conference, on ITU input to the WSIS Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action and the information document on ITU activities related to the Summit,
  • recalling further
    • the Geneva Declaration of Principles and the Geneva Plan of Action, adopted in 2003, and the Tunis Commitment and the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society, adopted in 2005, all of which were endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly,
  • considering
    • a) the role played by ITU in the successful organization of the two phases of WSIS;
    • b) that the core competences of ITU in the fields of information and communication technologies (ICTs) – assistance in bridging the digital divide, international and regional cooperation, radio spectrum management, standards development and the dissemination of information – are of crucial importance for building the information society, as stated in § 64 of the Geneva Declaration of Principles;
    • c) that the Tunis Agenda stated that “each UN agency should act according to its mandate and competencies, and pursuant to decisions of their respective governing bodies, and within existing approved resources” (§ 102 (b));
    • d) the establishment of a United Nations Group on the Information Society (UNGIS) by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, at the request of the Summit, with the main objective of coordinating substantive and policy issues facing the United Nations’ implementation of the WSIS outcomes, and that ITU is a permanent member of UNGIS, and shares a rotating chairmanship thereof;
    • e) that ITU, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) are playing lead facilitation roles in the multistakeholder implementation of the Geneva Plan of Action and Tunis Agenda, as called upon by WSIS;
    • f) that ITU is the moderator/facilitator for Action Lines C2 (Information and communication infrastructure) and C5 (Building confidence and security in the use of ICTs) of the Tunis Agenda, and a potential partner for a number of other action lines, as identified by WSIS;
    • g) that the parties involved in implementing the Summit outcomes agreed, in 2008, to designate ITU as the moderator/facilitator for Action Line C6 (Enabling environment), for which it had previously acted only as a co-facilitator;
    • h) that the ITU is given specific responsibility for maintaining the WSIS stocktaking database (§ 120 of the Tunis Agenda);
    • i) that ITU is capable of providing expertise relevant to the Internet Governance Forum as demonstrated during the WSIS process (§ 78a of the Tunis Agenda);
    • j) that ITU has, inter alia, specific responsibility to study and report on international Internet connectivity (§§ 27 and 50 of the Tunis Agenda);
    • k) that ITU has a specific responsibility to ensure rational, efficient and economic use of, and equitable access to, the radio-frequency spectrum by all countries, based on relevant international agreements (§ 96 of the Tunis Agenda);
    • l) that the United Nations General Assembly, in its Resolution 60/252, decided to conduct an overall review of the implementation of the Summit outcomes in 2015,
    • m) that “building an inclusive development-oriented information society will require unremitting multistakeholder effort… Taking into account the multifaceted nature of building the Information Society, effective cooperation among governments, private sector, civil society and United Nations and other international organizations, according to their roles and responsibilities and leveraging on their expertise, is essential” (§ 83 of the Tunis Agenda),
  • considering further
    • a) that ITU plays a fundamental role in providing global perspectives on the development of the information society;
    • b) the need for ITU to evolve constantly in response to changes in the telecommunication/ICT environment and, in particular, in respect of evolving technologies and new regulatory challenges;
    • c) the needs of developing countries, including in the areas of building telecommunication/ICT infrastructure, strengthening confidence and security in the use of telecommunications/ICT and implementation of the other WSIS goals;
    • d) the desirability of using ITU’s resources and expertise in a way which takes account of the rapid changes in the telecommunication environment and of the WSIS outcomes;
    • e) the need to carefully deploy the Union’s human and financial resources in a manner consistent with the priorities of the membership and cognizant of budgetary constraints, and the need to avoid duplication among the Bureaux and the General Secretariat;
    • f) that the full involvement of the membership, including Sector Members, as well as other stakeholders, is critical to successful ITU implementation of relevant WSIS outcomes;
    • g) that the strategic plan for the Union for 2012-2015 set out in Resolution 71 (Rev. Guadalajara, 2010) of this conference contains a commitment to the implementation of the relevant WSIS outcomes, in response to the changing telecommunication/ICT environment and its effects on the Union;
    • h) that the Council Working Group on WSIS (WG-WSIS) has proven to be an effective mechanism for facilitating Member State inputs on the role of ITU in implementing WSIS outcomes, as envisaged by the Plenipotentiary Conference (Antalya, 2006);
    • i) that the ITU Council has approved roadmaps for Action Lines C2, C5 and C6;
    • j) that the international community is invited to make voluntary contributions to the special trust fund set up by ITU to support activities relating to the implementation of WSIS outcomes;
    • k) that ITU is capable of providing expertise in the field of statistical work by developing ICT indicators, using appropriate indicators and benchmarking to track global progress, and measuring the digital divide (§§ 113-118 of the Tunis Agenda),
  • taking into account
    • a) that WSIS acknowledged that multistakeholder participation is essential to the successful building of a people-centered, inclusive and development-oriented information society;
    • b) the nexus between issues of telecommunication development and those of economic, social and cultural development, as well as its impact on social and economic structures in all Member States;
    • c) § 98 of the Tunis Agenda, which encourages strengthened and continuing cooperation between and among stakeholders and welcomes, in that respect, the ITU-led Connect the World initiative;
    • d) that, in recent decades, progress in natural science, mathematics, engineering and technology has formed the basis for ICT innovations and convergence that are bringing the benefits of the information society to an increasing number of people around the world;
    • e) that the ITU Secretary-General created the ITU WSIS Task Force, chaired by the Deputy Secretary-General, in order to fulfil, among others, the instructions handed down to the Secretary-General in Resolution 140 (Antalya, 2006) of the Plenipotentiary Conference;
    • f) the outcomes of the two WSIS forums hosted by ITU in May 2009 and May 2010;
    • g) the ITU report “WSIS+5″ on ITU’s WSIS implementation and follow-up activities for the five years 2005-2010,
  • noting
    • that there is currently no definition of the term “information and communication technologies (ICT)”, which is widely used in documents of the United Nations, ITU and other organizations, including the WSIS outcomes,
  • endorsing
    • a) Resolution 30 (Rev. Hyderabad, 2010) of the World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC);
    • b) Resolution 139 (Rev. Guadalajara, 2010) of this conference;
    • c) the relevant results of the 2010 session of the ITU Council, including Resolution 1282 (Rev. 2008);
    • d) programmes, activities and regional activities established by WTDC-10 with the objective of bridging the digital divide;
    • e) the relevant work already undertaken and/or to be carried out by ITU in implementing the WSIS outcomes, under the aegis of WG-WSIS;
    • f) Resolution 75 (Johannesburg, 2008) of the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA), on ITU-T’s contribution in implementing the outcomes of WSIS, and the establishment of a Dedicated Group on international Internet-related public policy issues as an integral part of WG-WSIS,
  • bearing in mind
    • the relevant work already undertaken and/or to be carried out by ITU in implementing the WSIS outcomes, under the aegis of WG-WSIS and the WSIS Task Force,
  • recognizing
    • a) the importance of ITU’s role and participation in UNGIS, as a permanent member, and sharing a rotating chairmanship;
    • b) ITU’s commitment to the implementation of the goals and objectives of WSIS, as one of the most important goals for the Union;
    • c) that the United Nations General Assembly, in its Resolution 60/252, decided to conduct an overall review of the implementation of the Summit outcomes in 2015,
  • resolves
    • 1 that ITU should play a leading facilitating role in the implementation process, along with UNESCO and UNDP, as stated in § 109 of the Tunis Agenda;
    • 2 that ITU should continue to play a lead facilitation role in the WSIS implementation process, as a moderator/facilitator for implementing Action Lines C2, C5 and C6;
    • 3 that ITU should continue carrying out those activities that come within its mandate, and participate with other stakeholders, as appropriate, in the implementation of Action Lines C1, C3, C4, C7, C8, C9 and C11 and all other relevant action lines and other WSIS outcomes, within the financial limits set by the Plenipotentiary Conference;
    • 4 that ITU should continue to adapt itself, taking into account technological developments and its potential to contribute significantly to building an inclusive information society;
    • 5 to express its satisfaction with the successful outcomes of the Summit, in which the expertise and core competence of ITU were noted several times;
    • 6 to express its thanks to the staff of the Union, the host countries and WG-WSIS for their efforts in the preparation of both phases of WSIS, as well as all members of ITU actively involved in implementing the WSIS outcomes;
    • 7 that there is a need to integrate the implementation of the Hyderabad Action Plan, and in particular Resolution 30 (Rev. Hyderabad, 2010), and relevant resolutions of plenipotentiary conferences, with the multistakeholder implementation of the WSIS outcomes;
    • 8 that ITU should, within available resources, continue to maintain the current public WSIS stocktaking database, as one of the valuable tools for assisting with the follow-up of WSIS, as instructed in § 120 of the Tunis Agenda;
    • 9 that the ITU Telecommunication Development Sector (ITU-D) shall give high priority to building information and communication infrastructure (WSIS Action Line C2), this being the physical backbone for all e-applications, calling also upon Programme 1 and the ITU-D study groups to do the same;
    • 10 that ITU should complete the report on the implementation of WSIS outcomes concerning ITU in 2014,
  • instructs the Secretary-General and the Directors of the Bureaux
    • 1 to take all necessary measures for ITU to fulfil its role, as outlined in resolves 1, 2, and 3 above, in accordance with the appropriate roadmaps;
    • 2 to continue to coordinate, with the Coordination Committee, the activities related to WSIS implementation for implementing resolves 1, 2, and 3 above, with the aim of avoiding duplication of work among the ITU Bureaux and the ITU General Secretariat;
    • 3 to continue to raise public awareness of the Union’s mandate, role and activities and provide broader access to the Union’s resources for the general public and other actors involved in the emerging information society;
    • 4 to formulate specific tasks and deadlines for implementing the action lines referred to above, and incorporate them in the operational plans of the General Secretariat and the Sectors;
    • 5 to report annually to the Council on the activities undertaken on these subjects, including their financial implications;
    • 6 to prepare and submit a final and comprehensive report on the ITU activities for WSIS implementation to the next plenipotentiary conference in 2014,
  • instructs the Directors of the Bureaux
    • to ensure that concrete objectives and deadlines for WSIS activities are developed and reflected in the operational plans of each Sector,
  • instructs the Director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau
    • to follow, as soon as possible and in accordance with Resolution 30 (Rev. Hyderabad, 2010), a partnership approach in ITU-D activities related to its roles in the implementation and follow-up of the WSIS outcomes, in accordance with the provisions of the ITU Constitution and ITU Convention, and to report annually, as appropriate, to the Council,
  • requests the Council
    • 1 to oversee ITU’s implementation of the WSIS outcomes, and, within the financial limits set by the Plenipotentiary Conference, to make resources available as appropriate;
    • 2 to oversee ITU’s adaptation to the information society, in line with resolves 4 above;
    • 3 to maintain WG-WSIS, in order to facilitate membership input and guidance on the ITU implementation of relevant WSIS outcomes and to elaborate, in collaboration with other Council working groups, proposals to the Council that may be necessary for adapting ITU to its role in building the information society, with the assistance of the WSIS Task Force, these proposals possibly including amendments to the Constitution and the Convention;
    • 4 to elaborate through the Sector study groups and submit a working definition of the term “ICT” to the Council and working groups of the Council, for possible transmission to the next plenipotentiary conference;
    • 5 to take into account the relevant decisions of the United Nations General Assembly with regard to mid-term assessment of implementation of the WSIS outcomes;
    • 6 to modify Resolution 1282 adopted by the Council at its 2008 session to establish a working group of the Council for the Dedicated Group on international Internet-related public policy issues, open only to Member States with open consultation to all stakeholders;
    • 7 to include the report of the Secretary-General in the documents sent to Member States in accordance with No. 81 of the Convention,
  • invites Member States, Sector Members and Associates
    • 1 to participate actively in implementing WSIS outcomes, contribute to the WSIS stocktaking database maintained by ITU, and participate actively in the activities of WG-WSIS and in ITU’s further adaptation to the information society;
    • 2 to make voluntary contributions to the special trust fund set up by ITU to support activities relating to the implementation of WSIS outcomes,
  • resolves to express
    • its warmest thanks and deepest gratitude to the Governments of Switzerland and Tunisia for having hosted the two phases of the Summit in close collaboration with ITU, UNESCO, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and other relevant United Nations agencies.

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