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UN-ESCWA Participates in the Cluster of WSIS-related Events


Within the context of follow-up activities on the implementation of the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), a series of meetings were held in Geneva during 14-25 May 2007, in the form of a cluster of WSIS-related events, including the tenth session of the United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD). The main objectives of the events were to review progress on the various WSIS Action Lines through meetings between stakeholders and to increase coherence and exchange of information among facilitators responsible for the implementation of the action lines, the focus being on the building of a people-centered, development-oriented and inclusive information society, with a view to enhancing digital opportunities for all people.


Two ESCWA staff members participated in various meetings, making presentations on ICTD activities in line with the WSIS Plan of Action.  The main themes of discussions were: ICT applications to support sustainable development in the fields of public administration, business, education, training, health, employment, environment, agriculture and science; the Internet Governance Forum; openness of standards, free flow of information, promotion of cultural and linguistic diversity and local digital content on the Internet; maintaining and promoting ICT access to various population segments including the disabled, the disadvantaged, women and children; and the impact of ICT on employment and poverty alleviation and ICT as an enabler and an instrument for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).


Additionally, the United Nations Regional Commissions (UN-RCs) held a joint event entitled "The Information Society - From Declaration to Implementation" on 21 May 2007, in which they highlighted activities to support the implementation of the WSIS outcome at the regional level.  ESCWA participated in this event with two presentations, one on "ICT Initiatives for the Achievement of the MDGs", and the other on the "Regional profile of the Information Society in Western Asia".


As a result of the successful UN-RCs event and their interventions in the tenth CSTD session, CSTD formally recommended the inclusion of interactive dialogue with the RCs in its next Session and submission of their contributions related to Science and Technology for Development for the elaboration of the Secretary General's report.