UN Group on the Information Society (UNGIS)
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  • Date submitted: 31 Oct 2011
  • Stakeholder type: United Nations & Other IGOs
  • Name: UN Group on the Information Society (UNGIS)
  • Submission Document: Download
Keywords: Education (1 hits),

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UNITED NATIONS GROUP ON THE INFORMATION SOCIETY (UNGIS) ANNEX UNGIS Contribution to the RIO+20 Preparatory Process



UNGIS serves as an interagency mechanism, the main objective of which is to coordinate substantive and policy issues facing the United Nations system?s implementation of the Geneva Plan of Action and Tunis Agenda for the Information Society adopted by the World Summit on the Information Society, thereby contributing to improving policy coherence in the UN system, as requested by the 2005 World Summit. Subsequently, pursuant to Para 46 of the GA Resolution 62/208, UNGIS will also ensure coordination amongst the United Nations development system in order to respond to the international attention being given to science and technology and technology transfer as reflected by the outcomes of the 2005 World Summit.


In order to achieve these objectives, UNGIS:

- Contributes to the implementation of the Geneva Plan of Action and the Tunis Agenda forthe Information Society, primarily at the international level, by mainstreaming theInformation Society Agenda into the activities and programmes of CEB members. In thiscontext, the UNGIS is closely coordinated with the mechanisms for national and regionalimplementation established in the Tunis Agenda (paragraphs 100 and 101), as well as themulti-stakeholder implementation process (paragraphs 108-110);

- Works toward strengthening the role of the UN System in facilitating access ofdeveloping countries to new and emerging technologies, promoting transfer oftechnology, and mainstreaming science, technology and innovation policies, includingICTs, into national development policies or poverty reduction strategies in accordancewith the priorities of countries;

- Facilitates synergies between organizations belonging to the UN system to maximizejoint efforts, avoids duplication and enhances effectiveness in achieving the WSISoutcomes;

- Promotes public awareness about how the UN system is implementing WSIS and isfacilitating better access of developing countries to new and emerging technologies.

Following on the recommendations of its 7th meeting that took place in Geneva last May, UNGIS agreed to present a joint contribution to the preparatory process of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (RIO+20). In response to the call for contributions by the RIO+20 secretariat, UNGIS , on behalf of its 29 members, would like to highlight the following aspects of ICTs and Information Society in helping achieve a green economy and sustainable development, to feed into the negotiation process towards Rio+20. Therefore, UNGIS:

1. Proposes that the Rio+20 process builds on the WSIS process and its established outcomes, noting that:

-the 2005 World Summit Outcome and the principle of ?Integrated and coordinated implementation of and follow-up to the outcomes of the major United Nations conferences and summits in the economic, social and related fields? (GA Res. 60/1), supporting stronger UN system-wide coherence and international cooperation that specifically raised and stressed the issues of science and technology (including ICTs), as well as building an inclusive information society, and implementing the WSIS Outcomes in addressing new challenges and in helping bridge the digital divide by enhancing digital opportunities for all;

-the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) provide an overall strategic framework for the deployment and use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) as an enabler for sustainable development, by enhancing access of vulnerable populations to Education, health care, information, finance and knowledge, protecting the environment, mitigating natural disaster risk, ensuring sustainable use of natural resources and sustainable food production, which falls in line with internationally-agreed development goals in general and with environmental protection and the sustainable use of natural resources in particular, as mentioned in both the Rio Principles and Agenda 21.

2. Reiterates:

-the commitment of the international community to harness the potential of ICTs in the achievement of sustainable development and overall internationally-agreed development goals, as reflected in the Millennium Declaration and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), as well as in other relevant UN Summits, conventions and international instruments;

- the key role of UNGIS as the UN inter-agency mechanism established by the CEB to coordinate the implementation of the WSIS Outcomes, as recognized by GA Res. 65/141.

3. Stresses the importance of ICTs as a cross-cutting tool in the context of a green economy Roadmap and a framework for action for sustainable development that could accelerate the transition towards sustainable societies and strengthen integration of the environmental, social and economic pillar of development for all.

4. Welcomes the establishment of international Sustainable Development Goals as tools to measure progress towards sustainable development with the aim of promoting access to ICTs and the transformational potential they encompass in achieving equitable, secure and sustainable societies, and with particular focus on: -Empowering people by ICT enabled access to information and knowledge; -Fostering the creation of inclusive knowledge societies built on sustainable development principles; -Improvement of equitable, secure and sustainable access to the ICT infrastructure, services and applications, while ensuring environmental and socio-economic benefits for all; -Promotion of the generation and open access tools for the sharing and transfer of knowledge and technology; -Using ICTs to enhance transparency and accountability of public/private institutions and foster people's participation in national and local sustainable development policy and decision-making processes;

- Promoting the use of new ICTs in media productions as a way of facilitating greater citizen participation in information gathering and dissemination on Sustainable Development.

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