WSIS Forum 2019: ICTs for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals

The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum, a global United Nations (UN) multi-stakeholder platform facilitating the implementation of the WSIS Action Lines for advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), is taking place from Monday, 8 April to Friday, 12 April 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland.

The WSIS Forum 2019 is titled "Information and Communication Technologies for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals", and marks the 10-year anniversary of the event. See the short overview video below for more information:

The WSIS Forum represents "the world's largest annual gathering of the ‘ICT for development' community", providing "an opportunity for information exchange, knowledge creation and sharing of best practices, while identifying emerging trends and fostering partnerships, taking into account the evolving Information and Knowledge Societies".

One particularity of the WSIS Forum is that, to ensure its participatory and inclusive spirit, it is the only event of its kind where the programme and the agenda are entirely crowdsourced, through an Open Consultation Process. The outcomes and analysis of the process are available online.

Additionally, through the High-level Track, a number of high-level policy sessions will take place, led by WSIS Forum 2019 Chairman Designate H.E. Mr. Mustafa Jabbar (Minister of Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology in Bangladesh).

The WSIS Action Lines and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

On 16 December 2015, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted Resolution 1/70/125, providing guidance on the implementation of the WSIS Outcomes until 2015, and calling in particular for close alignment between the WSIS process and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as the advancement of the first can help the accelerate the achievement of the latter. The WSIS SDGs Matrix was developed to show these synergies.

Among a host of topics, the Forum will also cover a number of issues pertinent to the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) agenda, including approaches for combatting hoax and disinformation in the digital age, and several sessions touching upon media and digital literacy.

Additionally, on the Thursday of the event, a delegation from the EU will host a thematic workshop on "Better Internet for Children" to showcase the EU's policy in this area. Participants will share best practices from the European Union and its Member States, which will then be followed by a discussion about possible further international cooperation on the matter, especially focusing on developing countries. The debate will focus on the transformative impact of digital technologies across society and the economy, and will contribute to the broader public debate on how to ensure a safe and inclusive digital future for all. Remote participation will be available - see the session briefing page for further information.

To learn more about the WSIS Forum more generally, see the information sheet and the agenda of the event online.

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