Recognizing WSIS Impacts

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

PP Resolution 31

PP RESOLUTION 31 (Rev. Marrakesh, 2002)

Telecommunication infrastructure and information and communication technologies for socio-economic and cultural development

The Plenipotentiary Conference of the International Telecommunication Union (Marrakesh, 2002),

  • recognizing
    • that the social and economic underdevelopment of a large part of the world is one of the most serious problems affecting not only the countries concerned but also the international community as a whole,
  • considering
    • a) that telecommunication facilities and services are not only the consequence of economic growth, but a prerequisite for overall development;
    • b) that telecommunications are an integral part of the national and international development process;
    • c) that recent spectacular progress, and particularly the convergence of telecommunication and computer technologies and services, referred to as information and communication technologies (ICT), are an agent of change for the information age;
    • d) that the Union is taking a leading managerial role in the preparation of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), which will be promoting the importance of ICTs and will be striving to ensure that all the peoples of the world will be able to take advantage of their benefits,
  • stressing
    • the important participatory, and not merely infrastructural, role played by telecommunications in the development of e-government, labour, agriculture, health, education, transport, industry, human rights, environmental protection, trade and transfer of information for social welfare, and in the general economic and social progress of developing countries,
  • recalling
    • a) that the Union’s World Telecommunication Development Report has highlighted the unacceptable imbalance in the distribution of telecommunications and the imperative and urgent need to remedy that imbalance;
    • b) that in this context the World Telecommunication Development Conference (Buenos Aires, 1994), inter alia, called on governments, international agencies and all other parties concerned to accord, particularly in the developing countries, an appropriate higher priority to investment and other related actions for the development of telecommunications;
    • c) that the World Telecommunication Development Conference (Istanbul, 2002) established the study group work programmes and approved resolutions aimed at promoting digital opportunities, highlighting the role of the use of ICTs in tele-education and telehealth programmes, and that specific principles, objectives and goals are set forth in the Istanbul Action Plan,
  • recognizing
    • a) that given the constraints of the world economic situation, there is a continuing decline in resources available in most developing countries for investment in various development sectors;
    • b) that, in this situation, doubts continue to arise as to the interrelated priorities for resource allocation among the various sectors to guide national decisions;
    • c) that it was therefore necessary to provide decision-makers with relevant and timely information on the role and overall contribution of ICTs to the totality of planned development;
    • d) that past studies undertaken at the initiative of the Union for assessing the benefits of telecommunications have had a salutary effect,
  • appreciating
    • the various studies that have been carried out as part of the programme of technical cooperation and assistance activities of the Union,
  • resolves
    • 1 that the Union should continue to organize, conduct or sponsor necessary studies to bring out, in a different and changing context, the contribution of ICTs to overall development;
    • 2 that the Union should continue to act as a clearing house for the exchange of information and, within the framework of the Istanbul Action Plan and in partnership with other appropriate organizations, implement programmes and projects aimed at promoting access to telecommunications and ICTs,
  • invites
    • the administrations and governments of Member States, agencies and organizations of the United Nations system, non-governmental and intergovernmental organizations, financial institutions and providers of telecommunication equipment and services and other ICTs to extend their support for the satisfactory implementation of this resolution,
  • urges
    • all agencies responsible for development aid and assistance, including the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), as well as donor and recipient Member States of the Union, to attach greater importance to ICTs in the development process and to accord an appropriate higher priority for resource allocation to this sector,
  • instructs the Secretary-General
    • 1 to bring this resolution to the attention of all interested parties, including, in particular, UNDP, IBRD, regional development banks and national development funds for cooperation;
    • 2 to organize studies as necessary, within the available credits;
    • 3 to report annually to the Council on the progress made in the implementation of this resolution;
    • 4 to arrange for the wide dissemination of the findings of the studies carried out in accordance with this resolution,
  • instructs the Council
    • 1 to review the Secretary-General’s reports and take appropriate measures to ensure the implementation of this resolution;
    • 2 to report on the matter to the next plenipotentiary conference.

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