Recognizing WSIS Impacts

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

PP Resolution 131

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PP RESOLUTION 131 (Rev. Busan, 2014)

Measuring information and communication technologies to build an integrating and inclusive information society

The Plenipotentiary Conference of the International Telecommunication Union ( Busan, 2014),

  • aware
    • a) that technological innovation, digitization and telecommunications/information and communication technologies (ICTs) have the potential to achieve sustainability, while contributing to enhancing socio-economic development and quality of life;
    • b) that there is still an ongoing need to call for the promotion of knowledge and the development of skills in all populations in order to achieve greater economic, social and cultural development and to raise the standard of living of the world’s citizens;
    • c) that each Member State is seeking to establish its own policies and regulatory frameworks based on ICT statistical data in order to narrow as effectively as possible the digital divide between those who have access to communication and information and those who do not,
  • recognizing
    • a) that the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) represented an opportunity to identify a global strategy for narrowing the digital divide from the development standpoint;
    • b) that the outcome of the global Partnership on Measuring ICT for Development has resulted in agreement on the identification of a set of basic indicators and a methodological framework for producing internationally comparable data for the measurement of ICT for development, as called for by § 115 of the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society;
    • c) that the WSIS+10 High-Level Event, in its WSIS+10 Vision for WSIS Beyond 2015, highlights that: “ICTs will play a critical role in achieving the sustainable development goals. Taking into account the ongoing dialogue on the Post-2015 Development Agenda (MDG review process) and the WSIS implementation process, all stakeholders have indicated the necessity of increased interaction between both processes in order to ensure that efforts across the UN system are coherent and coordinated to achieve maximum and sustainable impact”,
  • considering
    • a) that the Geneva Plan of Action adopted by WSIS provides for the following: “In cooperation with each country concerned, develop and launch a composite ICT Development (Digital Opportunity) Index. It could be published annually, or every two years, in an ICT Development Report. The index could show the statistics while the report would present analytical work on policies and their implementation, depending on national circumstances, including gender analysis”;
    • b) that key stakeholders, among which ITU (represented by the ITU Telecommunication Development Sector (ITU-D)), involved in the production of ICT statistics for measurement of the information society, joined forces to create a “global Partnership for Measuring ICT for Development”;
    • c) the contents of Resolution 8 (Rev. Dubai, 2014) of the World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC) as well as the Dubai Action Plan, on collection and dissemination of telecommunication/ICT information and statistics, with particular emphasis on consolidation of information and statistical data by the Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT), in order to avoid duplication in this field;
    • d) that, through the Dubai Action Plan, WTDC called upon ITU-D to:
      • – collect, harmonize and disseminate data and official statistics in the area of telecommunications/ICTs using a variety of data sources and dissemination tools, such as the World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators (WTI) database, the ICT Eye ITU online portal, the UN Data portal and others;
      • – analyse telecommunication/ICT trends and produce regional and global research reports, such as the Measuring the Information Society (MIS) report as well as statistical and analytical briefs;
      • – benchmark telecommunication/ICT developments and clarify the magnitude of the digital divide (using tools such as the ICT Development Index and the ICT Price Basket) and measuring the impact of ICTs on development and the gender digital divide;
      • – develop international standards, definitions and methodologies on telecommunication/ICT statistics, in close cooperation with other regional and international organizations, including the United Nations, Eurostat, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the Partnership on Measuring ICT for Development, for consideration by the United Nations Statistical Commission;
      • – provide a global forum for discussing information society measurements for ITU members and other national and international stakeholders, by organizing the World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Symposium and its related statistical expert groups;
      • – encourage Members States to bring together different stakeholders in government, academia and civil society in raising national awareness about the importance of production and dissemination of high-quality data for policy purposes;
      • – contribute to the monitoring of internationally agreed goals and targets, including the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) and WSIS targets as well as the targets set by the Broadband Commission for Digital Development, and developing related measurement frameworks;
      • – maintain a leading role in the global Partnership on Measuring ICT for Development and its relevant task groups;
      • – provide capacity building and technical assistance to Member States for the collection of telecommunication/ICT statistics, in particular by means of national surveys, through the delivery of training workshops and the production of methodological manuals and handbooks;
    • e) the WSIS outcomes in relation to ICT indicators, especially the following paragraphs in the Tunis Agenda:
      • – § 113, which called for formulating appropriate indicators and benchmarking, among them, indicators of ICT access and use, including community connectivity indicators, to clarify the magnitude of the digital divide, in both its domestic and international dimensions, and keep it under regular assessment, and tracking global progress in the use of ICTs to achieve internationally agreed development goals and objectives, including the MDGs;
      • – § 114, which recognized the importance of the development of ICT indicators for measuring the digital divide and noted the launch of the Partnership for Measuring ICT for Development;
      • – § 115, which noted the launch of the ICT Opportunity Index and the Digital Opportunity Index, based on the core indicators defined by the global Partnership on Measuring ICT for Development;
      • – § 116, which stressed the need to take into account different levels of development and national circumstances;
      • – § 117, which called for further development of these indicators, in collaboration with the global partnership, in order to ensure cost-effectiveness and non-duplication in this field;
      • – § 118, which invited the international community to strengthen the statistical capacity of developing countries1 by giving appropriate support at national and regional levels;
      • forward
        – § 119, in which a commitment is made to review and follow up progress in bridging the digital divide, taking into account the different levels of development among nations, so as to achieve the internationally agreed development goals and objectives, including the MDGs, assessing the effectiveness of investment and international cooperation efforts in building the information society, identifying gaps as well as deficits in investment and devising strategies to address them;
      • forward
        – § 120, which indicates that the sharing of information related to the implementation of WSIS outcomes is an important element of evaluation,
  • highlighting
    • a) the responsibilities that ITU-D had to assume as a result of the Tunis Agenda, especially its §§ 112 to 120 thereof;
    • b) that the Dubai Declaration adopted by WTDC-14 declares that: “the transparent and collaborative collection and dissemination of quality indicators and statistics that measure and provide comparative analysis of advancements in the use and adoption of ICTs continue to be a major factor for supporting socio-economic growth. These indicators and their analysis provide governments and stakeholders with a mechanism to better understand key drivers of telecommunication/ICT adoption and assist in ongoing national policy formulation. They also serve to monitor the digital divide as well as progress towards achievement of internationally agreed goals in the post-2015 development agenda”;
    • c) that the WSIS+10 High-Level Event, in its WSIS+10 Vision for WSIS Beyond 2015, states that: “The evolution of the information society over the past 10 years is contributing towards, inter alia, the development of knowledge societies around the world that are based on principles of freedom of expression, quality education for all, universal and non-discriminatory access to information and knowledge, and respect for cultural and linguistic diversity and cultural heritage. When mentioning the information society, we also refer to the above-mentioned evolution and to the vision of inclusive knowledge societies”,
  • recognizing further
    • a) that, with a view to providing their populations with faster access to telecommunication/ICT services, many countries have continued to implement public policies for digital inclusion, including community connectivity in those communities that are poorly served with telecommunication facilities;
    • b) that the approach of achieving universal service through community connectivity and broadband access instead of seeking in the short term to ensure that all households have a telephone line has become one of the main goals of ITU;
    • c) that the ICT Development Index is considered as the most important indicator of the digital divide,
  • bearing in mind
    • a) that, in order to keep each country’s public policy makers properly informed, ITU-D shall continue to strive to gather and periodically publish a variety of ICT statistics which provide some indication of the degree of progress in and penetration of telecommunication/ICT services in the different regions of the world;
    • b) that, according to the guidelines of the Plenipotentiary Conference, it is necessary to ensure as far as possible that the policies and strategies of the Union are fully in tune with the constantly changing telecommunication environment,
  • noting
    • a) that the Geneva Plan of Action adopted by WSIS identifies indicators and appropriate reference points, including indicators of ICT access and use, as elements for the follow-up and evaluation thereof;
    • b) that the single ICT Development Index (IDI) was developed by ITU-D and has been published annually since 2009;
    • c) that Resolution 8 (Rev. Dubai, 2014) instructs the Director of BDT, among other actions, to prepare and compile community connectivity indicators and to participate in the establishment of core indicators to measure efforts to build the information society and, by doing so, to illustrate the scale of the digital divide and efforts made by developing countries to reduce it,
  • resolves
    • 1 that ITU, as a specialized agency of the United Nations, should spearhead the tasks of compiling information and statistical data on telecommunications/ICTs; data for evaluating ICT trends; and data for measuring the impact of ICTs in narrowing the digital divide, showing, to the extent possible, their impact on matters related to gender, persons with disabilities and the different social sectors, as well as social inclusion, resulting from access in the areas of education, health, and e-government, etc., including their influence on the development and quality of life of all persons, highlighting their contribution to progress and sustainable development;
    • 2 that ITU should strengthen its coordination with other relevant international organizations involved in the collection of ICT data, and establish a standardized set of indicators through the Partnership for Measuring ICT for Development, improving the availability and quality of ICT data and indicators and fostering the development of strategies and national, regional and international public policy,
  • resolves to instruct the Secretary-General and the Director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau
    • 1 to take the measures necessary to enable ITU to carry out the tasks described in resolves 1 and 2 above;
    • 2 to continue to promote the adoption of measures necessary to ensure that indicators of community connectivity and ICT access and use are taken into account in regional and world meetings convened for the purpose of evaluating and following up the Geneva Plan of Action and Tunis Agenda, also considering the WSIS+10 Statement on the implementation of WSIS outcomes and the emergence of new challenges in achieving the development of an inclusive information society in the wider context of the Post-2015 Development Agenda;
    • 3 to ensure that projects, while having highly different goals and scopes, take account of the data, indicators and indices for measuring ICTs for their comparative analysis and for measurement of their results, such as for example in the implementation of Resolution 17 (Rev. Dubai, 2014) of WTDC,
  • instructs the Director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau
    • 1 to continue to promote the adoption of the ICT statistics developed by ITU based primarily on official data provided by Member States, and to publish them regularly;
    • 2 to promote the activities required to define and adopt new indicators, including e‑application indicators, for the purpose of measuring the real impact of ICTs on countries’ development;
    • 3 to promote efforts to disseminate the internationally agreed ICT methodologies and indicators;
    • 4 in order to give full effect to Resolution 8 (Rev. Dubai, 2014), to maintain a group of experts on ICT indicators and statistics so that Member States develop existing indicators and systematically review their methodologies and definitions, commencing this review in accordance with Resolution 8 (Rev. Dubai, 2014), and, as appropriate, to formulate any other ICT indicators that may be required;
    • 5 to continue to hold the World Telecommunications/ICT Indicators Symposium and experts meetings, periodically, with participation by all Member States, Sector Members, experts on ICT indicators and statistics, and others interested in measuring ICTs and the information society;
    • 6 to give the necessary support for the implementation of Resolution 8 (Rev. Dubai, 2014) and to stress the importance of implementing the WSIS outcomes in relation to the indicators mentioned, and to continue to avoid duplication in statistical work in this field;
    • 7 to continue to work to promote an ICT Development Index using available internationally recognized methodologies as the means by which ITU responds to considering a) above;
    • 8 to cooperate with relevant international bodies, in particular those involved in the Partnership on Measuring ICT for Development, for the implementation of this resolution;
    • 9 to work on the development of indicators of community connectivity and ICT access and use and forward the results on an annual basis;
    • 10 to adapt the data collection and the ICT Development Index in order to reflect the changing access to and use of ICTs, and to invite Member States to participate in such processes,
  • instructs the Secretary-General
    • to submit a report to the next plenipotentiary conference on progress in the implementation of this resolution,
  • invites Member States
    • 1 to participate in the submission to ITU-D of their national statistics on ICT access and use and community connectivity;
    • 2 to participate actively in these endeavours, by providing the requested information to ITU-D so as to produce telecommunication/ICT benchmarks, in particular the ICT Development Index.

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