My delegation associated itself to the statement of the European
Union on item 7. Our brief intervention is related to the follow-up to
the first phase of the World Summit on the Information Society.
1. The role of regional structures in the implementation of the documents
adopted by the Summit is succinctly, but clearly defined in those
The Declaration of Principles emphasizes the importance of the contribution
of the regional integration to the development of the global Information
Society and the need for a strong cooperation within and among the regions.
Regional dialogue should indeed contribute to national capacity building and
to the alignment of national strategies, as appropriate, with the goals of
the Declaration of Principles.
In its turn, the Plan of Action invites regional organizations to mainstream
ICTs in their work programmes and to be involved in the preparation and
implementation of national action plans to support the fulfilment of the goals
indicated in the recommendations adopted by the Summit.
In addition, in particular in the context of WSIS, the international
cooperation among all stakeholders is vital and needs to be strengthened with a
view to promoting universal access and bridging the digital divide. A special
attention is to be given to the paradigm of partnership represented by the
United Nations Global Compact.
2. As the most specialized protagonist in the implementation of the WSIS
recommendations, based on its core competence in ICTs, ITU started already its
work. Given the limited nature of the existing resources, the ITU key concept
for implementation is that of synergies. Yesterday, the ITU Council Working
Group on WSIS recognized the need to use regional structures in order to take
advantage of the existing and potential synergies. From the perspective of our
own Commission, in our future work, we need to take into account the existence
of the ITU regional dimension and its potential to coordinate with relevant
stakeholders at the regional level and to assist Member States in developing
regional action plans, such as E-Europe.
Against this background, my delegation believes that UN/ECE could play an
active role in the follow-up to WSIS Geneva, and its action should reflect the
dynamics and far-sightedness of other developments in the region, not only in
terms of integration, but also in terms of existing e-strategies.
3. The issue of resources is as relevant for UN/ECE as it is for all objectives
and actions envisaged as steps in the implementation of the Summit on the
Information Society. My delegation believes that actions, which may be considered,
should start from a few nuts and bolts:
- Be innovative in particular in stimulating enhanced partnerships between
governments and private sector, with a view to generating new, non-official resources.
We start from the assumption that, in the implementation of the Plan of Action on the
Information Society, there is a considerable difference, as compared with Plans
adopted by other Summits. This difference stems from the real stake and interest of
the private sector. Unlike other domains relevant for UN Summits, there is indeed a
broader room of coincidence between the global public goods promoted by the United
Nations and the purposes pursued by the business community. It is in this direction that
our efforts might be focussed.
- Take fully into consideration the need for synergies and engage in constant
coordination with ITU regional projects. In this respect, I would recall that
during the Preparatory Pan-European Regional Ministerial Conference in Bucharest
it has been agreed that UNECE and the ITU Telecommunications Development
Bureau would cooperate in order to bring the positive results accruing
from the implementation of e-policies and e-regulations to the benefit of
Member States, with special attention to the digitally marginalized sectors
and countries. Better coordination may lead to a meaningful distribution of
roles at regional and country level with other UN protagonists, as suggested
by the Executive Secretary.
- Identify and develop the comparative advantages of the region, which is one of the
most advanced, from the perspective of ICTs and their use as a tool for development,
good governance and accountability. In this respect, we would respectfully argue that
the adoption of the World Summit documents does not imply at all that we may ignore
the principles and priorities we agreed ourselves at the regional level in the November
2002. The Bucharest document may not be as ambitious and comprehensive as the World
Summit ones, but it certainly reflects the specificity and the comparative advantages
of our region. The provisions we agreed in Bucharest were meant to have a life of
their own, in addition to the contribution to the preparation of the Summit as
such. I am grateful to the Executive Secretary for having emphasized that concept,
in her introduction.
- Focus on the concrete dimensions of the implementation of the Plan of Action.
I refer mainly to the indicative targets contained in chapter B, paragraph C, but
also to other objectives and targets that might emerge as relevant for our region.
My delegation really believes that the responsibility of our region in the implementation
of WSIS recommendations is not only regional, but also global. If our region
fails to produce convincing results, the fulfilment of those commitments at global
level will certainly appear as implausible. A significant contribution to the
implementation of the Geneva Plan of Action should match the contribution to the
preparation of the first phase of the Summit. We believe that in a Summit with two
phases, the best preparation of the second phase is the implementation of the first
- At a more specific level of detail, the UNECE may look for a few areas on which
there is a need for studies or surveys. For instance, for my country studies on issues
such as the mobility of the human resources specialized in ICTs or the development of
small and medium software enterprises, would be of high interest.
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