The way forward: UNGA’s WSIS+10 Review draft Roadmap released

, France

The two co-facilitators of the United Nations General Assembly Review process invited UNESCO to present its WSIS work and the results of the UNESCO-hosted 2013 WSIS+10 Review event, before they presented the draft roadmap towards the UNGA high-level review event in December 2015.

At the first UNGA WSIS+10 Review Stocktaking meeting held at UN Headquarters in New York on 10 and 11 June 2015, UNESCO pledged its full support to the overall 2015 WSIS+10 Review process. “As facilitator of one third of all WSIS Action Lines, UNESCO contributed heavily to the WSIS implementation over the last decade; UNESCO also hosted the first WSIS+10 Review event with 1500 participants and a multistakeholder agreed Final Statement, which was later endorsed by UNESCO’s Member States at its 37th General Conference.

UNESCO is committed to fully contribute to the UNGA’s WSIS Review,” said Mr Banerjee, Director of UNESCO’s Knowledge Societies Division. The two co-facilitators, Lana Z. Nusseibeh, Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates, and Jānis Mažeiks, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Latvia, were appointed by Sam K. Kutesa, President of the 69th Session of the General Assembly on 1 June 2015, to lead an “intergovernmental preparatory process that also takes into account inputs from all relevant stakeholders” (A/RES/68/302).

The co-facilitators called for a stocktaking meeting on 10 and 11 June, which benefitted from presentations made by UNESCO, ITU and CSTD. Today, the draft roadmap foresees a first preparatory meeting on 1 July and stakeholder consultations on 2 July 2015. This meeting will be followed by a Non-Paper and a Zero-Draft, which will be reviewed at a second preparatory meeting from 20 to 22 October 2015. The High-Level Meeting of the UNGA is scheduled to take place on 14- and 5 (or 15 and 16) December 2015.

The draft roadmap is subject to revision and an updated document will be made available shortly. While questions remain on the timeline, the format of the outcome document as well as of the process is particularly important. Concerning contributions of non-governmental stakeholders, which are key in the WSIS work, it is clear that UNESCO’s presentations and offer of full support were well received, and will be further called upon in this process.    

The launch of the UNGA process was preceded by an Expert Group Meeting on “Advancing a Sustainable Information Society for All” on 8 and 9 June, at which UNESCO, represented by Mr Banerjee, also shared its Knowledge Societies vision and highlighted the substantive work facilitated and undertaken by the Organization.