WSIS Forum 2015 with the theme Innovating Together: Enabling ICTs for Sustainable Development will be held on 25–29 May 2015 @ the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Place des Nations, 1211 Geneva, Switzerland.
The annual WSIS Forum has become a global multi-stakeholder platform for coordination of the implementation of the WSIS Outcomes. The Forum serves as a mechanism for the coordination of multi-stakeholder implementation of activities, for information exchange, knowledge creation and the sharing of best practices. The overall theme of the Forum is Innovating Together: Enabling ICTs for Sustainable Development. The Forum will build upon two tracks, the High-Level Track, consisting of policy statements, WSIS prize ceremony, ministerial round table and the Forum Track that will offer participants a series of high-level dialogues, action line facilitation meetings, country workshops, thematic workshops and knowledge exchanges, as well as an exhibition addressing issues that are critical to WSIS implementation and follow-up in multi-stakeholder settings.
High-Level Dialogues (5 Sessions)
High-Level Dialogues (HLD) provide a unique combination of expert panellists and audience interaction. These High-Level Dialogues are on specific topics identified as crucial within the mandate of the WSIS Forum 2015 by the WSIS Stakeholders during the open consultation process and provide insights from leading experts on these pivotal issues.
Action line Facilitators' Meeting Friday 29 May, 14:00 – 15:00 (1 session)
Pursuant to Article 109 of the Tunis Agenda, the tenth meeting of the WSIS Action Line Facilitators will take place within the framework of the WSIS Forum 2015. The purpose of the meeting is to assess the general progress made within the WSIS Action Lines, as well as to identify measures to strengthen the overall WSIS implementation process. In addition, this year’s meeting will focus on innovating trends in ICTs and the implementation of the WSIS action lines in a world with Sustainable Development Goals. All Facilitators and Co-Facilitators of WSIS Action Lines are invited to the meeting. Other WSIS Stakeholders are also more than welcome to participate.
Ministerial Round Table Wednesday 27 May, 14:30 – 17:30 (1 session)
This Ministerial Round Table provides a platform for an interactive debate, in a high-level setup, on the trends, challenges and opportunities in the ICT Ecosystem and further development of the Information Society beyond 2015. In particular, it focuses on strategies and policies towards the implementation of the outcome documents of the WSIS Forum 2015, with the aim of strengthening the impact of ICTs on sustainable development. It will also provide the opportunity for discussion on synergies between WSIS and Sustainable Development Goals.
Action line Facilitation Meeting (Interactive Facilitation Meetings) 14 Sessions
The Tunis Agenda for the Information Society states that the WSIS implementation mechanism at the international level should be organized based on the themes and action lines in the Geneva Plan of Action and moderated or facilitated by UN agencies when appropriate. In addition, it states that ITU, UNESCO and UNDP should play a leading facilitating role in the implementation of the Geneva Plan of Action.
Each year, the WSIS Action Line Facilitators:
Provide reports on the year’s activities on their respective Action Lines
Organize Interactive Action Line Facilitation Meetings on their respective Action Lines.
Interactive Sessions 7 Sessions
Interactive sessions are focused on elements related to the WSIS Process, they provide workshop style interactions amongst the participants and panelists. The panelists provide an introduction to the framework of the session and act as moderators, while the participants are encouraged to drive the discussion of the session.
Country Workshops 7 Sessions
During Country Workshops, countries provide updates and reports on the implementation of the WSIS Action Lines in their respective countries. These sessions provide an opportunity for all participants to learn and share their country level experiences on the implementation of the WSIS Action Lines.
Thematic Workshops 46 Sessions
Thematic Workshops are interactive sessions based on the requests received from stakeholders during the Open Consultation Process. These workshops are organized and designed by the aforementioned stakeholders and are therefore a true testament to the inclusive spirit of the WSIS Forum 2015.
Knowledge Cafés provide an ideal multi-stakeholder platform enabling active involvement of each and every participant to explore key questions about the implementation of the WSIS Action lines for development at an international, regional and local level. This collaborative format facilitates brainstorming trends, challenges and opportunities in the ICT Ecosystem and further development of the Information Society.
Knowledge Exchanges offer the opportunity for stakeholders to interactively collaborate. The key goal of these meetings is to exchange information on the critical issues for the WSIS implementation addressed during the high level sessions, WSIS action line facilitation meetings and all other sessions relevant to implementation of WSIS Action Lines.
UNGIS 2 Sessions
The twelfth meeting of the United Nations Group on the Information Society (UNGIS) will be held as part of the WSIS Forum 2015. This meeting comprises the High-Level Segment of the meeting that will take place on Tuesday 26 May 2015 and the Working Level meeting that will take place on the Friday 29 May 2015. The twelfth UNGIS meeting will provide an opportunity to advance the Group’s objectives of coordination of substantive and policy issues facing the United Nation system in the implementation of the outcome of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). Particular focus will be directed towards the development of a Work Plan. Relevant documentation for the meeting will be made available at www.ungis.org.
UN Regional Commissions
The Tunis Agenda on the Information Society, more precisely its Para 101 proposed implementation mechanism at the regional level, as follows: upon request from governments, regional intergovernmental organizations in collaboration with other stakeholders should carry out WSIS implementation activities, exchanging information and best practices at the regional level, as well as facilitating policy debate on the use of ICTs for development, with a focus on attaining the internationally agreed development goals and objectives, including the Millennium Development Goals. UN Regional Commissions, based on the request of Member States and within approved budgetary resources, may organize regional WSIS follow-up activities in collaboration with regional and sub-regional organizations, with appropriate frequency, as well as assisting Member States with technical and relevant information for the development of regional strategies and the implementation of the outcomes of regional conferences. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the follow-up on the implementation of the WSIS outcomes at the regional level. Session will include the contributions of the representatives of the UN Regional Commissions, followed by a general discussion. Stationed in five regions of the world, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLAC), United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UNESCWA) share key objectives aiming to foster economic integration at the sub-regional and regional levels, to promote the regional implementation of internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and to support regional sustainable development by contributing to bridging economic, social and environmental gaps among their member countries and sub-regions.
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