Table of Contents

  • The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), held in two phases in Geneva 2003 and Tunis 2005, set out a clear vision to harness the vast potential of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to achieve the development aspirations of all the world’s inhabitants. Recognizing the importance of ICT as valuable assets for economic growth, world leaders expressed their strong political commitment towards building an inclusive, people-centred and development-oriented information society.

  • The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) serves as a platform for governments, international organizations, business companies and other entities to address issues related to Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), particularly, focusing on turning the digital divide into a digital opportunity for all. During the WSIS all players acknowledged the vital role that ICTs can play in boosting economic growth, as well as in social development, by creating not only employment opportunities but also building human capacities and contributing to cultural identity.

  • Since the Tunis Summit, governments and stakeholders have undertaken many initiatives and projects to bridge the digital divide. The general trends identified a positive development in the growing use of ICTs in the majority of countries. The following component of this report presents an overview of general trends and specific efforts undertaken by the international community in addressing WSIS goals. The bridging the digital divide part focuses mainly on analysing the use of mobile, Internet and broadband technologies worldwide. The section on creating an enabling environment outlines regulatory reform trends and highlights the need for a fundamental shift in policy and regulatory frameworks to enable countries to achieve WSIS targets by 2015. The capacity building and ICT services part draws attention to capacity-building initiatives undertaken so far by the international community and outlines ICT services mainly focusing on e-health, e-government, e-environment and e-agriculture. The section on building security in the virtual world focuses on the real and significant risks posed by cybercrime and provides for strategic mechanisms to meet the global challenges in building confidence and security in the use of ICTs.

  • In order to achieve the vision of the information society foreseen in the WSIS outcome documents (Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action), the multistakeholder engagement and cooperative partnership mechanisms should be further promoted and employed in tackling the challenges in the development of the ICT sector.