WSIS Forum Highlights Critical Role of Information Technologies in Advancing SDGs

Assistive Technology, Europe, ICT, March 25 2018



GENEVA, SWITZERLAND: More than 2,500 information and communication technology (ICT) experts came together for the 2018 World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum from March 19th- 23rd to explore the role of ICTs in advancing the SDGs, particularly those related to health (SDG 3), hunger (SDG 2), education and youth inclusion (SDG 4), employment (SDG 8), gender empowerment (SDG 5), the environment and climate change (SDGs 13, 14 and 15, among others), and infrastructure and innovation (SDG 9).

The WSIS Forum, which convened in Geneva, Switzerland, from 19-23 March 2018, aimed to foster partnerships, showcase innovation and exchange ICT best practices.

Meeting under the theme ‘Leveraging ICTs to Build Information and Knowledge Societies to Advance the SDGs,’ the event was co-organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP), in close collaboration with WSIS Action Line facilitators and other UN organizations.

The first WSIS Forum in 2003 agreed on the Geneva Plan of Action, which detailed the need for a “just and equal information society” through the identification of 18 areas of activity, or Action Lines. The WSIS Action Lines detail how governments, civil society, businesses and international organizations can work together to achieve the potential of ICTs for development. The 2018 Forum demonstrated how the WSIS and SDG processes are aligned at the implementation level and how this alignment can be strengthened, building on a WSIS-SDG Matrix, which emphasizes linkages between the SDGs and WSIS Action Lines.

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Excerpts from IISD SDG Knowledge Hub

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