United Nations General Assembly High-Level Meeting on Review of the World Summit of the Information Society (WSIS+10)
The President of the UN General Assembly, Mr. Mogens Lykketoft, will convene a General Assembly High-Level Meeting on 15-16 December to review the implementation of the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and discuss how Information Communications Technology (ICT) can support sustainable development.
The meeting will also offer Member States an opportunity to discuss bridging the digital divides, financial mechanisms, human rights in the information society, building confidence and security in the use of ICTs, internet governance, enhanced cooperation and follow-up processes. “The rapid development of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and growth in global interconnectivity can play an increasingly important role in promoting economic and social progress in many parts of the world,” Mr. Lykketoft said. The meeting will be attended by high-level representatives from governments, civil society and the private sector. Mr. Janis Mazeiks, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Latvia to the United Nations and Ms. Lana Zaki Nusseibeh, Permanent Representative of United Arab Emirates to the United Nations have co-facilitated the intergovernmental negotiations of the outcome document to be adopted at the High-Level Meeting.
ICTs as an essential part of people’s lives. The role of Information and Communication Technologies as a key driver of sustainable development is clear. 3.2 billion people, representing 43% of the world population, are online today, while mobile-cellular subscriptions have reached almost 7.1 billion worldwide, with over 95% of the global population now covered by a mobile-cellular signal.“Information and communication technologies have long been recognized as key enablers for bridging the digital divide and achieving the three dimensions of sustainable development: economic growth, environmental balance and social inclusion,” said Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations in his statement during the 2014 WSIS+10 high-level meeting in Geneva.
Yet despite rapid progress, digital gaps remain between genders and among countries. According to the Measuring the Information Society Report published annually by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU),”in the developed world, 81.3% of households now have home Internet access, compared to 34.1% in the developing world, and just 6.7% in the 48 UN-designated Least Developed Countries (LDCs)”.
“We must do everything in our power to increase access to ICTs and broadband connectivity across the world, including to reach people in remote areas, land-locked countries, small island developing states and the least developed countries. This will empower millions of people and enable us to meet our development goals,” Ban Ki-moon added.