As United Nations Member States prepare for the General Assembly’s 10-year review of the World Summit on the Information Society, USCIB participated in a stakeholder consultation in New York on July 2 during which members emphasized that information and communication technologies (ICTs) facilitate the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. USCIB members also pointed out that private sector investment is critical for the continued roll-out of Internet access, so it is imperative for governments to create an environment that encourages investment in broadband and ICTs.
USCIB members had important speaking roles in the July 2 program, which featured three panels aimed at exploring (1) progress made in implementation of the WSIS outcomes, (2) ICT technology gaps and areas for continued focus in bridging the digital divide; and (3) harnessing ICTs for development going forward. Members included Joseph Alhadeff, ICC digital economy commission chair and USCIB ICT policy committee vice chair (Oracle); Carolyn Nguyen (Microsoft); Cheryl Miller (Verizon); and Chip Sharp (Cisco).
Each panel included speakers from business, civil society, and the technical community, as well as respondents from governments and stakeholder groups. The speaker’s remarks and subsequent rich commentary provided by respondents and the interactive Q&A will serve as important inputs to the UN Secretariat’s development of a “non-paper” – to be released at the end of August 2015 – which will serve as the substantive foundation for the final outcome document to be endorsed by the UN General Assembly at the High-Level Meeting in December.