2,500 information and communication technology (ICT) experts and implementation actors contributed to and participated in the recent World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum 2018 to foster partnerships, showcase innovation, exchange best practices and announce new tools and initiatives to use ICTs to advance the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
From 19-23 March, over 250 content-rich workshops and open-space talks enabled on-site as well as virtual participants from over 150 countries to engage with more than 500 high-level representatives of the wider WSIS Stakeholder community, including more than 85 ministers and deputies, ambassadors; and leaders from the private sector, academia and civil society.
This year’s programme focused on highlighting the linkages between the two, including SDG priority areas such as health, hunger, education, youth inclusion, employment, gender empowerment, the environment, infrastructure and innovation.
“This year’s WSIS Forum demonstrated how ICTs can foster creativity and innovation to accomplish the Sustainable Development Goals. After nine years of engagement between all WSIS stakeholders, WSIS Forum remains the premier global platform to make ICTs a critical driver of global development,” said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao.
Ministerial Round Table participants emphasized the importance of the WSIS Action Lines framework as a key UN framework for work on the information and knowledge societies, and reiterated that many national digital agendas were built upon it. They applauded the WSIS Forum for creating global partnerships. WSIS Prizes were cited as an important global recognition of impactful ICT projects. The WSIS SDGs Matrix coordinated by ITU was highlighted as an important tool to map the missing links. The need for strengthened collaboration for building digital skills and ICT incubation programmes and fighting cyber attacks was highlighted.