WSIS Forum Recognizes Role of ICTs in Smart Climate Monitoring, Post-2015 Agenda

ITU logo17 May 2013: Participants at the annual World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum agreed on outcome documents that highlight discussions on, inter alia: smart climate change monitoring; women's empowerment; information and communication technologies (ICTs) innovations and standards; and cyberspace security. Participants also considered ICTs and post-2015 goals, reviewed the Implementation of the WSIS Outcomes and produced a Statement on the WSIS+10 Visioning.

The WSIS Forum, which took place from 13-17 May 2013, at the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, explored how ICTs can drive socioeconomic development and sustainable growth in the post-2015 development environment. In a ministerial roundtable, participants recommended interaction between the post-2015 agenda and the WSIS+10 Review process. The UN Group on the Information Society (UNGIS) is expected to finalize a statement on harnessing inter-agency expertise to address the post-2015 agenda.

The Outcome Document on “Smart climate monitoring: Expanding access to information on weather, climate and water” recognizes ICT as a tool for gathering and disseminating such information to communities and for producing climate knowledge. It stresses the need to address ICT e-waste and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It recommends viewing ICTs in climate monitoring “as an ‘end to end' system from observations to predictions.” Participants encouraged the WSIS+10 process to create an action line on climate that, inter alia: contributes to the implementation of the Global Framework for Climate Services; and defines developing country participation in climate ICTs.

The Forum also discussed accessibility, enabling environments, e-agriculture, e-health, e-learning, youth, infrastructure, ethics and media. Additional highlights include: the announcement of the Kofi Annan Dialogues, a series of online youth discussions on topics including democratic governance and unemployment; and the ITU World Telecommunication and Information Society Award, which recognized three leaders for promoting road safety and ICTs.

Over 1,800 participants from government, international organizations, the private sector and civil society attended over 150 high-level dialogues, country and thematic workshops and interactive sessions. ITU, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNTAD) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) served as co-organizers. The Outcome Documents will be submitted to the UN General Assembly (UNGA), the ITU Council and the Commission on Science and Technology (CSTD). [ITU Press Release] [Ministerial Roundtable on WSIS Post-2015] [WSIS Outcome Documents] [Outcome Document on Smart Climate Monitoring] [Kofi Annan Dialogues] [ITU Award Press Release]