APC at the World Summit on the Information Society Forum 2013

By AL Publisher: APCNews     GENEVA,

The ICT for development community is gathering in Geneva from 13-17 May 2013 to discuss the implementation of WSIS documents and principles. These are some of the events where APC will be participating:

What: High Level Substantive Session on ICTs and the post2015 Goals
When: Thursday May 16, 14:00-15:45
Where: Room C2 of the ITU Tower

The High-Level Substantive Session will provide a platform for a dialogue on the Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA) for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in a multistakeholder set up, and engage stakeholders in assessing the existing synergies and strong linkages between these processes and the WSIS outcomes, mandates and follow-up, while evaluating options and strategies to inject WSIS objectives in the post-2015 sustainable development agenda. It will explore the enabling environment that allows ICTs to act as a catalyst for the three pillars of sustainable development: economic growth, social inclusion and environmental sustainability.

The Session will urge all stakeholders to ensure that ICTs, and especially access to mobile telephony and broadband Internet access, need to be fully recognized by the international community in the UN’s post-2015 development agenda to empower people intellectually and financially, to open up fresh employment opportunities, and to give people greater access to learning and education, and health services.

Valeria Betancourt, APC’s Communication and Information Policy Programme Manager, will be one of the panelists.

Other panelists:

  • Mr Brahima Sanou, BDT Director, ITU
  • Mr Gary Fowlie, Head, Head ITU Liaison Office in NY and Member States Relation and Intergovernmental Organization
  • H.E. Mr Jean Philbert NSENGIMANA, Minister, Ministry of Youth and Information and Communication Rwanda (Republic of) – TBC
  • H.E. Mr Diego MOLANO VEGA Minister, Ministry of Information, Technologies and Communications Colombia (Republic of) – TBC
  • H.E. Mr Elmir VELIZADEH, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies of Republic of Azerbaijan
  • Mr Jose Dallo , Policy Advisor- Post-2015, UNDP (Remote Participation)
  • Mr John Davies, General Manager, Intel World Ahead Program, Intel Corporation, United States
  • H.E. Ms Advocate Shahara Khatun, Minister, Ministry of Posts And Telecommunications, Bangladesh (The People’s Republic of)

What: APC workshop: Civil Society and WSIS+10
When: Tuesday May 14, 9:00-10:45
Where: Popov Room (Room B)

This workshop will discuss the initial results of research conducted by APC in 2012. The research project was conducted to respond to the opportunity provided by the WSIS+10 review to address two problems: the absence in most parts of the world of a people-centred approach to information society policy and regulation, and, the fragmentation of the communication rights movement which had mobilised so intensively to ensure that this approach characterised the outcomes of the WSIS. Information was gathered from organisations and individual activists involved in the WSIS and current global communications policy forums to gauge their perceptions on what changes have occurred since 2003 in their countries, regions, or areas of activity. The research assessed the progress and/or lack thereof in relation to communication rights activists vision and demands, particularly regarding developing countries and marginalised communities.

Renate Bloem, CIVICUS UN Representative, Switzerland
William Drake, International Fellow and Lecturer of The Institute of Mass Communication and Media Research at the University of Zurich, Switzerland
David Souter, Founder and Managing Director of ICT Development Associates, United Kingdom
Jeremy Malcolm, Senior Policy Officer of Consumer’s International, Malaysia
Jac SM Kee, Women’s Rights Programme Manager of the Association for Progressive Communications, Malaysia

Alan Finlay, Independent Consultant, Open Research, South Africa

Valeria Betancourt, Communications and Information Policy Programme Manager of the Association for Progressive Communications, Ecuador

What: Women, ICT and Development (WICTAD) Coalition: Strategies for Advocacy and Coalition Building (UN Women/WICTAD)
When: Tuesday May16:15-18:00
Where: Room E, ITU Varembé

The Women, ICT and Development (WICTAD) Coalition is made up of a range of stakeholders that seek to share learning, identify opportunities for collaboration and alignment, highlight and make efforts to fill gaps in understanding and investment, produce recommended actions for the post 2015 United Nations development agenda, as well as generate a new consensus on the importance of leveraging ICTs for women in development agendas and advocate to this end. The coalition comprises a number of works streams led by different organizations and covers: Access to ICTs, Digital Literacy, Health, Education, Political Participation, Entrepreneurship, Content Producers, ICT Careers, ICT Policies, and Data & Research.

This Roundtable session will review the recommendations from the WICTAD International Forum held in January 2013, as well as those produced from the gender side events at the WSIS+10 in February 2013. Discussions will take place on strategies and practical next steps for influencing the post 2015 agenda and ensuring that around ICTD and gender equality and women’s empowerment issues are well addressed and that effective monitoring mechanisms are put in place. The relationship between national, regional and global efforts, data and evidence to make the case, and needed capacities will be addressed. The end of the Roundtable discussion will then consider how the WICTAD Coalition can be further mobilized and strengthened to not only advocate around the post 2015 agenda but to also operationalize goals, see that identified priorities are implemented, and that the requisite mechanisms for support and sharing are available. All those working on or interested in this agenda are encouraged to attend. Work stream leaders in attendance and other discussants will initiate the conversation.

Ms Jennifer Breslin, Knowledge and Innovation Coordinator, UN Women
Ms Ann Mei Chang, Senior Advisor for Women and Technology, US State Department Office of Global Women’s Issues
WICTAD members from the UN System, Civil Society, Academia, Private Sector, Government

Jac SM Kee, APC’s Women’s Rights Programme Manager, will speak at the roundtable.

What: Women’s Empowerment in the Information society: Systemic, Scalable Strategies
When: Tuesday 14 May, 14:00-16:00
Where: Room Popov

The global community has called for a post 2015 development framework that promotes transformative change which is more integrated and that considers the ecosystem of development. Achieving a transformative post 2015 development agenda will require taking gender, ICT4D, and the integration of the two seriously. Gender equality is a central foundation of development, an objective in itself as well as a lever for broader development. ICTs are increasingly leveraged as an innovative development tool because they promote more engaged and empowered citizens, flows of information and knowledge and provide new mechanisms for delivering critical services and meeting the 21st century challenges. Yet the virtuous circle that can be created, through better integrating gender into ICT and ICT into gender equality and women’s empowerment, has yet to be fully realized. In order to be truly transformative in these areas means moving beyond pockets of advancement and adopting systemic, scalable solutions that promote transformative change. Concrete recommendations for how to achieve this transformation were provided at both the Women, ICT and Development (WICTAD) International Forum and the WSIS+10 review meeting held in early 2013.

These included:

  • Establishing equality in women’s access to ICTs, in all its forms, by taking into account different levels of access and opportunity and the barriers women and girls face.
  • Integrating gender analysis and principles in national digital and e-strategy frameworks and agendas – including their implementation and monitoring – as well as within sectoral interventions, e.g. e-health.
  • Involving women as active and primary agents of change in owning, designing, using and adapting ICTs and ensuring their equal representation in decision-making positions in the public and private technology sector and doubling their representation in the work force as a whole.
  • Building understanding, capacities and skills for women and girls to fully engage in the information society and to use ICTs for agency and empowerment as well as to progress in ICT careers. Promoting women’s digital literacy and access and use of educational programmes and learning environments.
  • Developing content that responds to women’s needs and actively promoting women as content producers.
  • Developing and collecting gender- and sex-disaggregated data, and undertaking research and impact analysis on gender and ICT.
  • Connecting human rights, gender and ICT frameworks, and promoting understanding of, addressing and reporting on information society issues within women’s rights frameworks and national gender strategies.

The High Level Panel will reflect on these, while addressing the critical need for scalable solutions for the integration of women and their needs and interests in the information society.

Moderator: Ms Deborah Taylor Tate, ITU Special Envoy and Laureate for Child Online Protection; Co-Chair, Healthy Media Commission, US Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission (Ret)

Ms Gulden Turkoz-Cosslett, Director of Programming, UN Women
Mr Mario Maniewicz, Chief, Department of Infrastructure, Enabling Environment and E-Applications, Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT), ITU
Ms Jac Siew Min Kee, Women’s Rights Programme Manager, Association for Progressive Communication
Niamh Scannell, Research Director, Intel Labs Europe
Ms Scovia Umulisa, Statistics Analysis in Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA)
H.E. Mrs Gaj, President, Office of Electronic Communications of Poland

What: Internet Universality: Conceptualizing evolving mediascape and updating strategies for Post-2015
When: Monday 13 May, 14:30-16:15
Where: Room C, ITU

As called upon by WSIS+13 review meeting, UNESCO devotes this C9 meeting to a debate on conceptualization of media as they are retooled by digital convergence and explores templates for updated media policy frameworks and to foster multi-stakeholder strategies. In this context, UNESCO calls for further feedback on a new concept of “Internet Universality” as a means of building knowledge society and its implications in C9 media. The debate will focus on this concept (Internet Universality) and its relevance to fostering the continued role of traditional mass media and community media in digital area and encouraging development of new social media and new forms of journalism based on digital platform. The outcome of session will contribute to shaping final recommendations for post-2015 strategy on C9 media.

Alan Finlay, researcher from the APC WSIS +10 project, was a member of the panel.

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Full agenda of the event

Information on remote participation

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