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. Busan, 2014)

ITU’s role in implementing the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society and in the overall review by United Nations General Assembly of their implementation

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

  • 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;
    • d) Resolution 172 (Guadalajara, 2010) of the Plenipotentiary Conference, on overall review of implementation of the WSIS outcomes,
  • recalling further
    • a) 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;
    • b) the outcomes of the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), referring to the role of ICTs for sustainable development;
    • c) the Ministerial Round Table held at the WSIS Forum 2013;
    • d) the WSIS+10 Statement on Implementation of WSIS Outcomes and Vision for WSIS Beyond 2015, adopted at the ITU-coordinated WSIS+10 High-Level Event (Geneva, 2014);
    • e) Resolution 68/302 of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), on modalities for the overall review by the General Assembly of the implementation of the WSIS outcomes,
  • considering
    • a) that ITU plays a fundamental role in providing global perspectives on the development of the information society;
    • b) the role played by ITU in the successful organization of the two phases of WSIS and its coordination of the WSIS+10 High-Level Event;
    • c) 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;
    • d) 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));
    • e) 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;
    • f) 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;
    • g) that ITU is the moderator/facilitator for Action Lines C2 (Information and communication infrastructure), C5 (Building confidence and security in the use of ICTs) and C6 (Enabling environment) of the Tunis Agenda, and a potential partner for a number of other action lines, as identified by WSIS;
    • 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) the results of the meeting of the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly (2014), on overall review of the implementation of WSIS outcomes in December 2015 (UNGA Resolution 68/302);
    • n) 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 and other international organizations should continue to cooperate and coordinate their activities where necessary for the global good;
    • 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 countries1, 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, taking into account the outcomes of the WSIS+10 High-Level Event, which will be reviewed under the UNGA overall review to take place in December 2015;
    • 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 2016-2019 set out in Resolution 71 (Rev. Busan, 2014) 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, as well as the priority areas to be addressed in implementing the WSIS outcomes beyond 2015, subject to the outcomes of the UNGA overall review;
    • h) that the Council Working Group on WSIS (WG-WSIS) constitutes an effective mechanism for facilitating Member State inputs on the role of ITU in implementing WSIS outcomes, as envisaged by the plenipotentiary conferences (Antalya, 2006 and Guadalajara, 2010);
    • i) that the ITU Council has approved roadmaps for Action Lines C2, C5 and C6, which have been updated and made available on the web, as well as WSIS-related activities, which have been included in the ITU Operational Plans for 2015-2018;
    • 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),
  • noting
    • a) the holding of the World Summit on the Information Society Forum, organized annually by ITU in collaboration with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), UNESCO and UNDP, and the holding of the 10-year review event of WSIS entitled “Towards Knowledge Societies for Peace and Sustainable Development”, coordinated by UNESCO in Paris in 2013;
    • b) the establishment of the Broadband Commission for Digital Development at the invitation of the Secretary-General of ITU and the Director-General of UNESCO, taking note of the “Broadband targets for 2015″, which aim to make broadband policy universal and to increase affordability and uptake in support of internationally agreed development goals, including the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs),
  • taking into account
    • a) that WSIS acknowledged that multistakeholder participation is essential to the successful building of a people‑centred, 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, the ICT landscape has dramatically changed progress in natural science, mathematics, engineering and technology: rapid innovation, diffusion and uptake of mobile technologies and improved access to the Internet have greatly expanded the gamut of opportunities that ICTs offer to promote inclusive development and bring the benefits of the information society to an increasing number of people around the world;
    • e) that UNGIS proposes that “in collaboration with other stakeholders, the UN system should seek to take full advantage of ICTs in addressing the development challenges of the 21st century and to recognize them as cross-cutting enablers for the achievement of all three pillars of sustainable development” and states that “the potential of ICTs as key enablers of development, and as critical components of innovative development solutions, is fully recognized in the Post-2015 Development Agenda”;
    • f) the outcomes of the ITU-coordinated WSIS+10 High-Level Event, based on the Multistakeholder Preparatory Platform, together with other UN agencies and inclusive of all WSIS stakeholders, which was conducted as an extended version of the WSIS Forum, under the mandates of the participating agencies and on a consensus basis;
    • g) 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;
    • h) the outcomes of the WSIS Forums held in 2011, 2012 and 2013, as well as the WSIS+10 High-Level Event (as an extended version of the WSIS Forum 2014) coordinated by ITU, held in Geneva in June 2014;
    • i) the ITU report entitled “WSIS+10 Report: ITU’s Ten Year Contribution to the WSIS implementation and follow-up (2005-2014)”, outlining WSIS-related activities of the Union,
  • endorsing
    • a) Resolution 30 (Rev. Dubai, 2014) of the World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC), on the role of the ITU Telecommunication Development Sector (ITU‑D) in implementing the WSIS outcomes;
    • b) Resolution 139 (Rev. Busan, 2014) of this conference;
    • c) the relevant results of the 2011-2014 sessions of the ITU Council, including Resolution 1332 (Rev. 2011) and 1334 (Rev. 2013);
    • d) programmes, activities and regional activities established by WTDC‑14 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 and the WSIS Task Force;
    • f) Resolution 75 ( Rev. Dubai, 2012) of the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA), on ITU‑T’s contribution in implementing the outcomes of WSIS,
  • 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 68/302, on the modalities for the overall review of WSIS outcomes, decided to conduct an overall review of the implementation of the WSIS outcomes in December 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 coordinate WSIS Forums, World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD), WSIS Project Prizes and maintain the WSIS Stocktaking database, subject to the outcomes of the UNGA overall review in December 2015;
    • 3 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;
    • 4 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;
    • 5 that ITU should continue to adapt itself, taking into account technological developments and its potential to contribute significantly to building an inclusive information society and to the Post-2015 Development Agenda;
    • 6 that, when continuing its WSIS-related activity, ITU should take into consideration the outcomes of the UNGA overall review of implementation of the WSIS outcomes in 2015;
    • 7 to express its satisfaction with the successful outcomes of the Summit, in which the expertise and core competence of ITU were noted several times;
    • 8 to express its satisfaction with the successful outcomes of the WSIS+10 High-Level Event to review implementation of WSIS outcomes, at which the importance of collaboration among United Nations agencies, governments and relevant stakeholders was noted several times;
    • 9 to express its satisfaction and appreciation for ITU’s efforts to initiate and coordinate the WSIS+10 Multistakeholder Preparatory Platform (MPP) and WSIS+10 High-Level Event in close collaboration with other relevant United Nations agencies and relevant stakeholders;
    • 10 to express its satisfaction and appreciation for the efforts and contributions of other relevant United Nations agencies and all other stakeholders during the WSIS+10 MPP and the WSIS+10 High-Level Event;
    • 11 to endorse the following outcome documents of the WSIS+10 High-Level Event:
      • – WSIS+10 Statement on the Implementation of the WSIS Outcomes;
      • – WSIS+10 Vision for WSIS beyond 2015;
    • 12 to submit to the December 2015 UNGA Overall Review the successful outcomes of the ITU‑coordinated WSIS+10 High-Level Event elaborated through its MPP;
    • 13 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 (Geneva, 2003 and Tunis, 2005) and the WSIS+10 High-Level Event (Geneva, 2014), as well as all members of ITU actively involved in implementing the WSIS outcomes;
    • 14 that ITU, in coordination with UNESCO, UNCTAD and UNDP, contribute on the issue of ICT for development in the debate on the Post-2015 Development Agenda arranged by the United Nations General Assembly, taking into consideration the WSIS+10 High-Level Event outcome documents, with a focus on bridging the digital divide through sustainable development;
    • 15 that there is a need to integrate the implementation of the Dubai Action Plan, and in particular Resolution 30 (Rev. Dubai, 2014) of WTDC, and relevant resolutions of plenipotentiary conferences, with the multistakeholder implementation of the WSIS outcomes;
    • 16 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;
    • 17 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, having regard to the Dubai Declaration and Objective 2 of the Dubai Action Plan and calling upon the ITU‑D study groups to do the same;
    • 18 to endorse the WSIS+10 Report: ITU’s Ten Year Contribution to the WSIS Implementation and Follow-up (2005-2014);
    • 19 that UNGA be encouraged to consider the WSIS+10 High-Level Event outcome documents, which were developed through the MPP, which takes stock of the progress made in the implementation of the Geneva 2003 outcomes and addresses potential ICT gaps and areas for continued focus, as well as addressing challenges, including bridging the digital divide, and harnessing ICTs for development;
    • 20 that ITU should submit a progress report on the implementation of WSIS outcomes concerning ITU to the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference in 2018,
  • instructs the Secretary-General
    • 1 to present to UNGA, within the modalities established by UNGA Resolution 68/302, the WSIS+10 Report: ITU’s Ten Year Contribution to the WSIS Implementation and Follow-up (2005-2014), which was provided as an input to the Committee on Science and Technology Development (CSTD) review;
    • 2 to support ITU’s role in implementing the WSIS outcomes and the Post-2015 Development Agenda, as established by Member States;
    • 3 to submit the WSIS+10 High-Level Event outcome documents as a contribution to the UNGA overall review in 2015;
    • 4 to prepare a report on the UNGA overall review of WSIS at the first Council session after the latter’s adoption,
  • 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, 3, and 4 above, in accordance with the appropriate roadmaps;
    • 2 to continue to coordinate, with the WSIS Task Force, the activities related to WSIS implementation for implementing resolves 1, 2, 3, and 4 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 progress report on the ITU activities for WSIS implementation to the next plenipotentiary conference in 2018, taking into account the UNGA overall review in December 2015;
    • 7 to ensure that the ITU participates actively, provision of its expertise and competency, in the UNGA overall review, in accordance with the modalities established by UNGA Resolution 68/302,
  • instructs the Directors of the Bureaux
    • to ensure that concrete objectives and deadlines (using results-based management processes) 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. Dubai, 2014), 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, consider and discuss, as appropriate, ITU’s implementation of the WSIS outcomes and related ITU activities, 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 5 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 take into account the relevant decisions of the United Nations General Assembly with regard to the overall review of implementation of the WSIS outcomes;
    • 5 to include the report of the Secretary-General in the documents sent to Member States in accordance with No. 81 of the Convention;
    • 6 to take all necessary measures, as appropriate, in follow-up to the results of the UNGA overall review of the implementation of the WSIS outcomes, within the financial limits set by the Plenipotentiary Conference;
    • 7 to encourage the participation of the ITU membership and other relevant stakeholders in ITU’s activities that support WSIS implementation, as appropriate,
  • invites Member States, Sector Members, Associates and Academia
    • 1 to participate actively in implementing WSIS outcomes, contribute to the WSIS Forum and WSIS Stocktaking database maintained by ITU and the WSIS Project Prizes, and participate actively in the activities of WG-WSIS and in ITU’s further adaptation to the information society;
    • 2 to participate actively in the preparatory process for the UNGA overall review of the WSIS outcomes, according to the rules and procedures of UNGA, and to promote ITU’s activities in this regard and the outcomes of the WSIS+10 High-Level Event;
    • 3 to support, through relevant UN processes, the creation of synergies and institutional linkages between WSIS and the Post-2015 Development Agenda, so as to continue strengthening the impact of ICT for sustainable development;
    • 4 to make voluntary contributions to the special trust fund set up by ITU to support activities relating to the implementation of WSIS outcomes;
    • 5 to continue to contribute information on their activities to the public WSIS stocktaking database maintained by ITU;
    • 6 to contribute to and closely collaborate with the Partnership on Measuring ICT for Development as an international, multistakeholder initiative to improve the availability and quality of ICT data and indicators, particularly in developing countries,
  • resolves to express
    • 1 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, UNCTAD and other relevant United Nations agencies;
    • 2 its appreciation for the WSIS+10 High-Level Event, coordinated and hosted by ITU and co‑organized by ITU, UNESCO, UNCTAD and UNDP with the engagement of other United Nations agencies.

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