WSIS

[2022 WSIS Forum] Inclusiveness, Access to Information and Knowledge for All / Bridging Digital Divides

WSIS Forum 2022

High-Level Policy Session 7:

Inclusiveness, Access to Information and Knowledge for All / Bridging Digital Divides

Register here for this 7th session of the 2022 WSIS Forum (virtual and in-person participation available): itu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJIkf-ysqzsuGtMorqFMzRQ1zPPF0GurUgte

About the Session:

The ability for all to access and contribute information, ideas and knowledge is essential in an inclusive Information Society.

The sharing and strengthening of global knowledge for development can be enhanced by removing barriers to equitable access to information for economic, social, political, health, cultural, educational, and scientific activities and by facilitating access to public domain information, including by universal design and the use of assistive technologies.

A rich public domain is an essential element for the growth of the Information Society, creating multiple benefits such as an educated public, new jobs, innovation, business opportunities, and the advancement of sciences. Information in the public domain should be easily accessible to support the Information Society, and protected from misappropriation. Public institutions such as libraries and archives, museums, cultural collections and other community-based access points should be strengthened so as to promote the preservation of documentary records and free and equitable access to information.

Read more about the Geneva Declaration of Principles here: itu.int/net/wsis/docs/geneva/official/dop.html

Speakers:

  • Moderator: Dr. Liberato Bautista (High-Level Track Facilitator), President, Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CoNGO), United States of America
  • Mr. Paul Donohoe (WSIS Action Line Facilitator), Digital Economy and Trade Coordinator Universal Postal Union, Switzerland
  • H.E. Mr. Mustafa Jabbar [R], Minister Posts and Telecommunications Division, Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and ICT, Bangladesh
  • H.E. Mr. Toelupe Poumulinuku Onesemo, Minister, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Samoa
  • H.E. Mr. Bogdan Dumea, State Secretary, Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digitalization, Romania
  • Ms. Aichatou Habibou Oumani, President, Niger Regulatory Authority for Electronic Communication and Postal Service, Niger
  • Mr. Dan Sjoblom, Director General, Swedish Post and Telecom Authority, Sweden
  • Mr. Bakhtiyar Mammadov, Deputy Head of Administration, Ministry of Digital Development and Transport, Azerbaijan
  • Dr. Caterina Berbenni-Rehm, Founder & CEO, PROMIS@Service, Italy
  • Ms. Tatyana Kanzaveli, CEO, Open Health Network, United States of America
  • Mr. Ahm Bazlur Rahman [R], Chief Executive Officer, Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio & Communication (BNNRC), Bangladesh

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN. For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Language and Languages, please email the co-chairs at fmhult@umbc.edu or tonkin@hartford.edu. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit congocsd.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org

WSIS Forum 2022 Opening Ceremony: CoNGO President Speaks

View the full list of speakers and register here: itu.int/net4/wsis/forum/2022/Agenda/Session/252

The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum is a multistakeholder platform to coordinate implementation activities, exchange information and knowledge, showcase innovation, share best practices and foster partnerships to ensure ICTs remain a key enabler in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Under this year’s theme, ‘ICTs for Well-Being, Inclusion and Resilience: WSIS Cooperation for Accelerating Progress on the SDGs’, the WSIS Forum continues to highlight the implementation of the WSIS Action Lines in accelerating the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The WSIS process is aligned with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which is highly dependent on ICTs for its implementation.

The Opening Segment will inaugurate the Final Week of the WSIS Forum 2022 and will consist of opening statements from the WSIS Forum 2022 co-organizers, UN partners, sponsors, and representatives of stakeholders engaged in the WSIS Process.

View the full list of speakers and register here: itu.int/net4/wsis/forum/2022/Agenda/Session/252

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN. For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Language and Languages, please email the co-chairs at fmhult@umbc.edu or tonkin@hartford.edu. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit congocsd.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org

 

ICTs for Well-Being, Inclusion and Resilience: WSIS Cooperation for Accelerating Progress on the SDGs

AL C1 logo

STI Forum 2022 Side Event: ICTs for Well-Being, Inclusion and Resilience: WSIS Cooperation for Accelerating Progress on the SDGs

Session 249

Thursday, 5 May 2022 3 days from now13:30–14:30 (UTC+02:00)Thematic Workshop

This side event on ICTs for Well-Being, Inclusion and Resilience: WSIS Cooperation for Accelerating Progress on the SDGs is jointly organised by WSIS and UNGIS on the margin of the STI Forum 2022.

Highlighting the theme of the WSIS Forum 2022 and aligning it with the theme of the STI Forum 2022 on “Science, technology and innovation for building back better from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) while advancing the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, this session will focus on how the ICTs and the WSIS Action Lines can help accelerate the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to build back better after the COVID-19 pandemic. The event will also discuss ways to strengthen partnerships and digital cooperation among multistakeholders to build a sustainable future for all as envisioned in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Panellists


Mr. Malcolm Johnson
Mr. Malcolm Johnson
Deputy Secretary-General, International Telecommunication Union (ITU)

Malcolm Johnson is a seasoned information and communication technology (ICT) executive who has served in senior management positions at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) since 2007. Prior to his election as Deputy Secretary-General, he was Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau.

Earlier, he served as International Coordinator at the United Kingdom’s Office of Communications (Ofcom), with chief responsibility for UK engagement with ITU and international regulators. As Director of the UK Radiocommunications Agency until 2003, he also acted as the European Coordinator for several World Radiocommunication Conferences.


Ms. Isabelle Durant
Ms. Isabelle Durant
Deputy Secretary-General, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

H.E. Ms. Neema Kichiki Lugangira
H.E. Ms. Neema Kichiki Lugangira
Member of Parliament and Founder of Omuka Hub, Parliament of Tanzania, United Republic of Tanzania

Rev. Dr. Liberato “Levi” C. Bautista
Rev. Dr. Liberato “Levi” C. Bautista
President, Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CoNGO), USA

The Rev. Dr. Liberato “Levi” C. Bautista is President of CoNGO—The Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (2007-2011 and 2018-2025) and Assistant General Secretary for UN and International Affairs of the General Board of Church and Society of The United Methodist Church. Both organizations have consultative statuses with ECOSOC. He previously served as Chair of the Council of Organizations of the United Nations Association of the USA.

Bautista studied political science, history, and international studies at the University of the Philippines and religion and social and political ethics at Drew University (USA). He is a Fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science. He has travelled to some 80 countries around the world attending major United Nations, ecumenical, interreligious, civil society, and academic conferences. He participated in both the Geneva (2003) and Tunis (2005) phases of the World Summit on Information Society where he addressed the ethical implications of communications technology in the production and proliferation of information and knowledge.

Bautista has written and published essays and monographs on varied subjects, many based on his lectures and speeches on the work and role of civil society and non-governmental and grassroots organizations, in local, national, regional, international and multilateral arenas. His writings address Bautista’s concern for the organizational life of NGOs and civil society organizations characterized by consultative processes, collaborative approaches, and cooperative spirit. Such organizational values, elaborated in his writings, point to the importance of NGOs as a cohesive and effective force for change and transformation operating under proven principles of NGO good practice. Bautista’s NGO work total 44 years today.


Mr. Michael Hodin
Mr. Michael Hodin
CEOGlobal Coalition on Aging (GCOA)

Michael W. Hodin, Ph.D. is CEO of the Global Coalition on Aging, Managing Partner at High Lantern Group, and a Fellow at Oxford University’s Harris Manchester College. He has spoken internationally on the topic of aging, including at G20, APEC, Davos, and the World Knowledge Forum (WKF). He is also a blogger on Medium.

Mike is a Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and from 2010-2013, was Adjunct Senior Fellow with a focus on population aging. In 2013, Mike was invited by then-Committee Chairman Bill Nelson (D-FL) to lead a Members’ Roundtable with the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging. Mike was also the recipient of the 2012 Fred D. Thompson Award from the American Federation for Aging Research. He sits on the Boards of the Foreign Policy Association, Business Council for International Understanding, NYC Blood Center, American Skin Association, American Federation for Aging Research and Emigrant Savings Bank, where he is Chairman of its compensation committee. Mike was a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Ageing. And he sits on the Advisory Board for the Milken Institute Center for the Future of Aging.


Ms Tiffany Brar
Ms Tiffany Brar
Founder, Jyothirgamaya Foundation, India

Tiffany Brar, a born fighter, did not let her disability stand as a hindrance in her moving forward.She became blind due to the sheer negligence of a doctor, soon after birth. Though her parents tried to rectify her condition, it  was to no avail and  she strongly believes that it is for a purpose that she is visually challenged and her disability is away to bring possibility for others like her.

She studied for her prime years in Great Britain, after which she returned to India and pursued her schooling. It  was the discrimination and segregation she met on account of her disability, that instilled in her a drive and a  determination to change the plight of her fellow blind brothers and sisters. She being forcefully made to sit at the  back of the class and not being allowed to participate in sports,only made her more determined to make a change.

She is a motivational speaker, a special educator, a social activist, ever ready to raise her voice for her community  and for other disabilities as well. Her organization has played an integral role in empowering the blind and blind women empowerment. The President himself addresses her as “THE COURAGEOUS DAUGHTER OF INDIA”, a this address to the country at  the United Nations International Day for Persons with Disabilities in December, 2017 where he also presented her with the“National Award for the Best Role Model”.


Mr. Joe Hironaka
Mr. Joe Hironaka
Programme Specialist Digital Innovation and Transformation Communication and Information SectorUnited Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)Moderator

Ms. Gitanjali Sah
Ms. Gitanjali Sah
Strategy and Policy Coordinator
International Telecommunication Union (ITU)Moderator

Twenty-fifth Session of the Commission on Science and Technology for Development

Twenty-fifth Session of the Commission on Science and Technology for Development
28 March – 01 April 2022
Palais des Nations
Geneva, Switzerland

The Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) is a subsidiary body of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the United Nations focal point for science, technology and innovation (STI) for development, in analyzing how STI, including information and communications technologies (ICTs), serve as enablers of the 2030 Agenda.

It acts as a forum for strategic planning, sharing lessons learned and best practices, providing foresight about critical trends in STI in key sectors of the economy, the environment and society, and drawing attention to emerging and disruptive technologies.

Every year, the commission has two priority themes. For the twenty-fifth session, these are:

  1. Industry 4.0 for inclusive development.
  2. Science, technology and innovation for sustainable urban development in a post-pandemic world.

The Commission will also review the progress made in the implementation of and follow-up to the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society at the regional and international levels; and hear presentations on ongoing science, technology and innovation policy reviews.

Participants will include representatives of Governments, international organizations, civil society and the private sector.

Programme

28 March
  • Opening ceremony, followed by a dialogue between eminent economists and scientists on the opportunities of and challenges in scientific breakthroughs for sustainable development.
  • High-level round table on the role of science, technology and innovation in a sustainable and resilient recovery from the current pandemic. Held as a contribution to the Economic and Social Council and the high-level political forum on sustainable development, whilst at the same time advancing the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
29 March
  • High-level session on Industry 4.0 for inclusive development.
30 March
  • High-level session on Science, technology and innovation for sustainable urban development in a post-pandemic world.
31 March
  • High-level session to review the progress made in the implementation of and follow-up to the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society at the regional and international levels.
1 April
  • Science, technology and innovation policy reviews.
  • Gender dimension in science, technology and innovation policies.

Logistics

The session will be held with physical participation at the Palais des Nations and remote participation through a simultaneous interpretation platform in the six official languages of the United Nations.

A link to the formal virtual meeting will be sent to registered participants, at the email address used for registration, one day in advance of the start of the session.

Launch of Repository of Women in Tech

WSIS Forum 2022 ICTs and Gender Mainstreaming — Launch of Repository of Women in Tech

At the request of and in collaboration with WSIS Stakeholders a repository of Women in Tech will be launched. The goal is to identify and connect women leaders and practitioners in all sectors of the ICT industry from all regions and engage them in events, forums (e.g. WSIS Forum) and activities such as various workshops, training courses, networking events, aimed at fostering a dialogue on the use of ICTs as a means for implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Register here!

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-NY, please visit ngocsw.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Geneva, please visit ngocsw-geneva.ch. For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Vienna, please visit ngocswvienna.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN

Ethics of Artificial Intelligence

World Summit on the Information Society Forum 2021

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a frontline technology with profound implications for human beings, cultures, societies and the environment. AI has the potential to be our ally in the struggle for a more equitable, fair, and sustainable future. It is remarkable that AI generated some of the earliest alerts about the COVID-19 outbreak, even before it was confirmed, by routinely scanning hundreds or thousands of governmental and media data sources in multiple languages. This analytical capacity has also helped accelerate the discovery of the vaccines, and even understanding the protein structures. Self-learning algorithms and smart machines are playing an increasingly important role in our efforts to recover from the current crisis. Digital platforms and infrastructure have been broadened to keep our economies, our schools and our societies going.

We must always keep in mind that AI technologies also possess significant risks and challenges, especially in terms of deepening the existing divides, exacerbating gender disparities, and infringing on human dignity and human rights. This is why there are many initiatives that have emerged to ensure that these technologies help to overcome the current crisis and mitigate future risks, while tackling the downsides. Thus, the European Union is launching its AI rulebook and UNESCO member states are negotiating the Recommendation on the Ethics of AI.

This high level session is aimed at taking stock of where we are and how to move forward with the tools that we have and that are about to be developed. Speakers will share their perspectives on how to make sure that developments in these technologies do not create new forms of exclusion and inequalities, including gender, and how to justly distribute the benefits.

Register here: itu.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_KKDgPi8ESj6ACfGeMhB9ng

View the full program and list of speakers here: itu.int/net4/wsis/forum/2021/Agenda/Session/353

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CoNGO Notes: CoNGO is a civil society focal point with the WSIS Forum. See former CoNGO President, Cyril Ritchie, in this interview with ITU: youtube,com/watch?v=cYA8UauD28U.  For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit  ngocsdvienna.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN. For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org

AI Readiness Check: Policy Impact, Opportunities and Challenges

World Summit on the Information Society Forum 2021

Advances in Artificial Intelligence (“AI”), machine learning and the analysis and use of data are transforming all aspects of our lives, economies and societies, in both visible as well as unforeseen ways. Bringing with them the potential to accelerate progress on the Sustainable Development Goals, the use of such AI technologies also raises many new technical, ethical and socio-economic issues.

In order to prepare for this AI revolution, Governments, in collaboration with other stakeholders, are taking various steps such as monitoring developments in AI, data use and data protection; developing national strategies for AI; introducing and enhancing data protection legislation; adopting and adapting e-government and AI in public services; creating and upgrading national databases; upgrading national infrastructure; establishing university programmes and courses; funding and incentivizing AI research and AI start-ups and registering AI patents; introducing regulatory guidance (e.g. self-driving vehicles); and so on.

This high-level dialogue will explore progress by nations with respect to AI readiness. It aims to enable exchange of knowledge and best practices within the WSIS community on policies and strategies that could be most effective to facilitate the inclusive use of AI for good.

Register here: itu.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_aR2ctpJzRaCUeJYpLp8i4g

View the full agenda and list of panelists here: itu.int/net4/wsis/forum/2021/Agenda/Session/352

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CoNGO Notes: CoNGO is a civil society focal point with the WSIS Forum. See former CoNGO President, Cyril Ritchie, in this interview with ITU: youtube,com/watch?v=cYA8UauD28UFor more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit ngocsdvienna.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN. For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org.

Accelerating Digital Transformation of Government Services

World Summit on the Information Society Forum 2021

This session will provide a platform for high-level dialogue between the representatives of international and regional organizations, government, civil society, and private sector, on the challenges and possible solutions, including the offering of GovStack initiative, that aims at accelerating digitalization of the governmental services across the world.

Register here: itu.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_4waiI4cJTRCpn5f8M6jdWg

Digital government services are vital for developing a digital economy that benefits all citizens by expanding access to critical services such as health, education, and social protection. Countries seeking to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the next ten years are increasingly looking to national digital strategies and agendas to transform the way they do business and improve the lives of their citizens. Current challenges to digital government include lack of coordination, the habit of working in siloes, funding constraints, and the absence of scalable solutions, all posing significant constraints to digital transformation in government. Amid the increasing pressure to act, countries do not have the time nor the luxury to reinvent the wheel or review fragmented and duplicated investments. This further increases costs and inefficiencies.

A “Whole-of-Government” platform approach to developing government services through the reuse and minimal customization of quick and easy to adopt building blocks is at the heart of the success of digital government services projects. Open-source models for a government platform that is built from modular and reusable components, leveraging a secure and standards-based approach, are an optimal solution to solving these issues in a cost-efficient and scalable manner.

This session will provide a platform for high-level dialogue between the representatives of international and regional organizations, government, civil society, and private sector, on the challenges and possible solutions, including the offering of GovStack initiative, that aims at accelerating digitalization of the governmental services across the world.

For more information, full agenda, and the list of panelists: itu.int/net4/wsis/forum/2021/Agenda/Session/416

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CoNGO Notes: CoNGO is a civil society focal point with the WSIS Forum. See former CoNGO President, Cyril Ritchie, in this interview with ITU: youtube,com/watch?v=cYA8UauD28UFor more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit ngocsdvienna.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN.

[WSIS Forum] Digital Inclusion of Older Persons

Digital Inclusion of Older Persons: Harnessing digital technologies to promote the inclusion and well-being of older persons

Tuesday 11 August 2020
14:00-15:00 CEST / 8:00-9:00 EST

Register here: https://bit.ly/3hKJKPV

Background and Objectives

Highlighting the importance of older persons, the World Summit on the Information Society Forum in 2020, for the first time, has dedicated a special track to older persons and ICTs. Technological advances are becoming entrenched in many aspects of our societies and hold the potential to create opportunities towards an inclusive and sustainable development and provide tools to surmount the challenges faced by many to fully participate in the development process. However, where access to ICTs is limited and not inclusive, it can intensify existing inequalities and even create new ones. Both the opportunities and challenges intrinsic to technological progress have been illustrated by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Available evidence shows that older persons are often among those that do not benefit fully from the potential of ICTs. This session will explore access and inclusion of older persons in technology, discuss the digital divide in this group identifying their main vulnerabilities, reasons and the impact that such divide has on older persons’ participation in society, and provide some examples of successful efforts to promote access and inclusion of older persons.

The event also serves as a springboard to the fifty-ninth session of the Commission for Social Development to be held in February 2021, where the priority theme is “Socially just transition towards sustainable development: The role of digital technologies on social development and well-being of all”.

Opening remarks: Daniela Bas, Director, Division for Inclusive Social Development, DESA

Panel Discussion 

Moderated by: Amine Lamrabat, Associate Public Information Officer, DISD/DES

  • Alison Bryant, Senior Vice President, AARP Research and Lead for Technology Work 
  • Anupam Sibal, Group Director, Medical Services, Apollo Hospitals Enterprise, India (tbc)
  • Heidrun Mollenkopf, German National Association of Senior Citizens’ Organisations 
  • Michael Hodin, CEO of the Global Coalition on Aging
  • Osarieme Omokaro, User Experience Researcher, Google 

Download a copy of this document here. (PDF 358 KB)

#WSIS2020 #OlderPersons | @UN4Ageing 

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development-New York, please visit ngosocdev.org or facebook.com/NGOCSocD. For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-NY, please visit www.ngocoa-ny.org.  For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-Geneva, please visit ageingcommitteegeneva.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-Vienna, please visit ngoageingvie.org.

[Webinar] ICTs and Older Persons

: ICTs and Older Persons: Universal Design, Standards, ICT and Older Persons in Support of UN Decade of Healthy Ageing

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

02:00 PM in Amsterdam, Berlin, Rome, Stockholm, Vienna, 14:00-15:00 Geneva Time

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CoNGO Notes: To learn more about the NGO Committee on Ageing – Geneva, please visit ageingcommitteegeneva.org.