The 2017 World Summit on the Information Society Forum (WSIS Forum) was held last 12-16 June in Geneva. This annual gathering is co-organised by the ITU, the United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organisation, the United Nations Development Programme and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
‘Information and Knowledge Societies for Sustainable Development Goals’ is the theme of this year’s WSIS Forum, chaired by Jean Philbert Nsengimana, Minister of Youth and Information and Communication Technologies of Rwanda.
Portugal was represented at the event by the state secretary for infrastructures, who took part as a speaker in the high-level session on the ‘Digital economy and trade’ and in the ministerial round table, and by the chair of ANACOM’s board of directors, who took part in the high-level sessions on ‘Bridging digital divides’ and the “ITU’s role in shaping the future wireless ecosystem’.
This forum derives from results of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), held in two phases in Geneva and Tunis, respectively in 2003 and 2005, which determined a set of concepts and policies meant to place information and communication technologies (ICTs) at the service of global development. In particular, the Tunis Agenda (2005) reiterated the benefits of ICTs in citizens’ lives, assuming the commitment to develop mechanisms to combat digital divides and establishing a number of special action lines for that purpose.
The WSIS Forum, held annually in a multi-stakeholder format, is meant to accompany implementation of the WSIS action lines.
The ITU traditionally plays a paramount role in organising this event, in partnership with other United Nations agencies.