Building peace in the minds of men and women

UNESCO’s Deputy Director-General addressed the WSIS Forum 2015

“We must bet on collective intelligence, collective wisdom, and collective action,” said at the opening of the WSIS Forum 2015 UNESCO’s Deputy Director-General. “Innovating Together: Enabling ICTs for Sustainable Development” is this theme of this years’ WSIS Forum, co-organized by ITU, UNESCO, UNDP and UNCTAD, which was opened by UNESCO’s Deputy Director-General, Mr Engida, ITU’s Secretary-General, Mr Zhao, UNCTAD’s Secretary-General, Mr Mukisha Kituyi and other leaders this morning.

Mr Engida stressed the importance of collective consultation and action for the implementation and the review of the WSIS outcomes at a time when the WSIS+10 years review goes into its final phase towards the High-level Meeting at the United Nations General Assembly in December 2015.

“Innovating together is the idea at the heart of the concept of inclusive knowledge societies -- where every woman and man has the ability and opportunity not just to acquire data bits and information but to transform these into knowledge and understanding” said Mr Engida in UNESCO’s opening speech at the WSIS Forum. He stressed the importance of knowledge, which holds the key to sustainable human development, as well as to cultural diversity, tolerance and peace. Using an old African proverb, UNESCO’s Deputy Director-General, Mr Getachew Engida, said: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” UNESCO emphasized the importance of advancing collectively also in UNGIS, where the high-level participants made a significant step by agreeing to ‘reconfirm the commitment of UNGIS and its member to actively lead the UN system input to the process leading up to the Overall WSIS+10 Review to be concluded in December by the UN General Assembly.’ UNESCO will organize six sessions at WSIS Forum 2015. On Wednesday morning UNESCO will bring together high level panelists to discuss the topic “Making Empowerment a Reality – Accessibility for All”.

In addition, UNESCO will organize five more Action Line meetings focusing on Free, independent and pluralistic media and the Post-2015 development agenda; Culture and ICTs as drivers of sustainable development; Ethical dimensions of the information society and sustainable development; Access to information to achieve Sustainable Development Goals; and Teacher ICT competencies to support inclusive Knowledge Societies. All the sessions will attempt to raise awareness and find solutions to the emerging and on-going challenges present in information societies today.

Joining online:

For those unable to participate in this year’s WSIS Forum in person, the event can be easily accessed remotely by choosing the desired session on the WSIS Forum Agenda online and selecting the preferred type of remote participation (Webcast or Adobe Connect). Remote participants will be required to fill in a real-time registration form in order to access the session. Each session will have 10 to 15 minutes dedicated to the questions from remote participants. Onsite registration, as well as further information on remote participation is available on ITU’s WSIS Forum 2015 Website.

More information on UNESCO organized sessions:

More information on the Forum: