Ten years after the second World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) was concluded, the process and its outcomes are now up for a Review. The overarching goal of the WSIS has been to create 'a people-centred, development-oriented, inclusive information society'. A government-led process at the UN General Assembly to review the extent to which we have achieved this goal was initiated in June 2015, and will come to a conclusion with a High-Level meeting of the UN General Assembly in New York, in December of this year.
The Asian Regional Consultation on the WSIS+10 Review will bring together in Thailand around forty experts from different backgrounds and from around the Asian region who are concerned about issues concerning ICTs, sustainable development, human rights and Internet governance, to ask: what are the issues that our governments need to squarely address in the process of the review?
The meeting is timed so as to be able for the group to comment on the non-paper that will have been released by the co-facilitators of the review process in late August (inputs into that paper can be made by all stakeholders and are due on 31 July). The group will take stock of the extent to which priorities for the Asian region have been reflected in the non-paper, and will work together on formulating a joint comment on the non-paper (comments on the non-paper will be due in mid-September, and will be drawn on by the co-facilitators to formulate a zero-draft).
Topics that are likely to be discussed during the meeting include concrete priorities in the areas of development and human rights, the link with the post-2015 development agenda, the issue of financing mechanisms (especially for capacity building and transfer of technology), and ways in which progress could be made on the enhanced cooperation agenda without undermining multistakeholder processes in Internet governance.
The group will also look forward to consider which further inputs could be made or actions could be taken strategically to ensure that priorities from the Asian region are fully taken onto board in the final WSIS+10 Review outcome documents. If there are other processes the group believes this work could usefully feed into, these might be taken into consideration as well.
The meeting is conceived as a highly interactive working meeting that is geared towards producing a specific outcome. Participants will be drawn from all non-government stakeholder groups, and will have a wide and rich variety of backgrounds, both in terms of professional expertise and geographical location. What unites all, however, is a shared commitment to a free and open Internet and to the use of technology to benefit the development and human rights of all in our region.
To ensure that those who are not able to make it to Thailand can add their voice to the discussions in the Consultation and their outcome as well, remote participation will be made available. For more information, please click here.