Progress in the implementation of WSIS outcomes discussed at the Commission on Science and Technology for Development

The 18th session of the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) took note of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Review report and adopted a resolution on the preparation of the overall WSIS Review at the United Nations General Assembly in December 2015.

The CSTD meeting, which took place from 4 to 8 May 2015 in Geneva (Switzerland), started with a High-level Opening, in which Indrajit Banerjee, Director of UNESCO’s Knowledge Societies Division addressed the plenary on behalf of the Director-General. Mr Banerjee highlighted UNESCO’s key role in the implementation of the WSIS outcomes and its contribution to the WSIS Review process: “The international community can continue to count on UNESCO for its major contributions in the field of access to information and knowledge, e-learning, e-science, cultural diversity and local content, media and ethics,” he said. Mr Banerjee congratulated CSTD for a balanced WSIS review report, seizing and analysing key developments, while also noting some shortcomings.

This CSTD session was organized around two priority themes, the Strategic foresight for the post-2015 development agenda and digital development. The second key agenda item was WSIS, including the progress made in the implementation of and follow-up to the WSIS outcomes at the regional and international levels, summarized in the Ten-Year Review Report.

During this week, a resolution on WSIS outcomes was negotiated, which will be used as input for the related UN General Assembly process (June-December 2015) and a second resolution on the role of science, technology and innovation (STI) for development. Both resolutions were adopted and will be put forward as the CSTD contribution for the ECOSOC High-Level Segment (July 2015) discussion dedicated to Managing the transition from MDGs to the SDGs - what will it take?

Peter Major (Hungary, who played a key role in WSIS and Internet Governance issues for years and facilitated the WSIS resolution negotiations at this CSTD session) was elected as chair of the 19th CSTD session.

The chair of the 18th session, Ms Johnson, closed the session by thanking the delegates and the secretariat for accomplishing all the objectives of the session and for the spirit of compromise. Even though the WSIS draft resolution does not "accurately reflect the richness of the discussion, we can leave here satisfied," she said.