UNESCO announces the key speakers at the first WSIS+10 Review Event

UNESCO is pleased to announce the opening and key note speakers for the upcoming WSIS+10 Review Event (25-27 February 2013, UNESCO Headquarters, Paris). As the host of this Multistakeholder event, UNESCO will address, together with its partners, the major challenges in building Knowledge Societies for sustainable development: access to information and knowledge, e-learning, e-science, cultural diversity and identity, linguistic diversity and local content, media and freedom of expression, and the ethical dimensions of the Information Society.

The WSIS+10 Review Event will start on 25 February with opening remarks by Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO; Dr Hamadoun Touré, Secretary-General of ITU; Dr Supachai Panitchpakdi, Secretary-General of UNCTAD; Mr Jean-Guy Carrier, Secretary-General of International Chamber of Commerce; Ms Katalin Bogyay, President of the UNESCO General Conference and Ambassador of Hungary; and Ms Grace Githaiga, KICTANET (Kenya).

Following, a keynote speech will be delivered by professor Jeffrey D. Sachs, expert in economic development and Special Advisor on the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) since 2002. He will address the importance of bridging digital and knowledge divide in achieving the MDGs as well as in solving around the main sustainable development challenges.

The morning session will be concluded by the Future Debate entitled “Broadband, technology and education – lessons of past ten years” in which the findings of the latest report “Technology Broadband and Education” will be presented. This panel will include Commissioners as well as several specialists in the fields of ICTs and education and engage voices from multinational corporations, business education and governments.

Special focus on WSIS+10 thematic forums:

Thematic Forum I: From Digital to Knowledge Divide

  • Where: UNESCO HQ, Fontenoy building, Conference Room 1
  • When: Monday, 25 February 2013, from 16:15 to 17:30
  • Who: Communication and Information Sector, UNESCO, organized by Mr. Indrajit Banerjee, Director of the Knowledge Societies Division
  • What: This session will debate issues relating to digital and knowledge divides and examine to what extent the digital divide has implications on knowledge divides and their impact on sustainable and equitable development. Aren’t knowledge divides at the core of inequity and socio-economic exclusion?

Thematic Forum II: Freedom, Rights and Ethics

  • Where: UNESCO HQ, Fontenoy building, Conference Room 2
  • When: Monday, 25 February 2013, from 16:15 to 17:30
  • Who: Communication and Information Sector, UNESCO, chaired by Ms Sylvie Coudray, Chief of the Section for Freedom of Expression, Division of Freedom of Expression and Media Development
  • What: The World Summit on the Information Society’s Declaration of Principles, adopted at the first WSIS in Geneva in 2003, reaffirms a commitment to the values of universal human rights and freedoms. In the last ten years, the Internet has brought new opportunities and challenges for the protection of these rights. Ethical questions on the control of content increasingly fall into the hands of multinational media corporations and Internet intermediaries, including search engines and social media networks, whose reach crosses national borders and multiple jurisdictions. This highly interactive session will explore the question: “What changes have impacted on the WSIS multi-stakeholder commitment to upholding rights, freedom and ethics on the Internet?” Panelists will give brief remarks and will respond to interventions both from the floor and remote participants. The session will conclude with key recommendations concerning the WSIS legacy for freedom, rights and ethics beyond 2015.

About WSIS+10

WSIS+10 (World Summit on the Information Society) is one of the follow-up meetings of the Summit held in two phases in Geneva, Switzerland and Tunis, Tunisia in 2003 and 2005. It is organized by UNESCO in cooperation with ITU, UNCTAD and UNDP and will take place at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, from 25 to 27 February 2013. By bringing together governments, civil society, the private sector and intergovernmental organizations, the Multistakeholder WSIS+10 Review Event seeks to review the implementation of the WSIS outcomes and further strengthen all of these actors’ engagements to create Knowledge Societies for peace and sustainable development.