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Regional Profile of the Information Society in Western Asia, 2009

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The information society, in which information is processed efficiently, including the production, exchange, adaptation and use of information, is the appropriate environment for achieving sustainable development and enhancing the quality of life for all citizens. However, the move towards the information society constitutes a real challenge to developing countries, particularly in view of the expanding digital divide with developed countries, thus rendering them increasingly vulnerable to reduction in their productive and economic capacities. Given the importance of information societies as a path for achieving sustainable development and realizing the Millennium Development Goals, and in the process of following up on the World Summit on the Information Society, ESCWA prepared this regional profile, which is the fourth in a series on the information society in Western Asia. The present regional profile provides essential information on the status of the information society in ESCWA member countries. It aims at assisting decision makers and researchers by providing them with reference information for analysis and planning. It also allows national authorities to compare the current status of their information society with that of other countries in the region and the world, thereby promoting opportunities for cooperation and regional integration in an increasingly knowledge-based global economy.