Outcome document of the high-level meeting of the General Assembly on the overall review of the implementation of the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society
United Nations General Assembly
13 December 2015
Outcome document of the high-level meeting of the General Assembly on the overall review of the implementation of the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society
The General Assembly,
Adopts the following outcome document of the high-level meeting of the General Assembly on the overall review of the implementation of the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society at its seventieth session:
Outcome document of the high-level meeting of the General Assembly on the overall review of the implementation of the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society
We, the Ministers and heads of delegations participating in the high-level plenary meeting of the General Assembly on the overall review of the implementation of the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society, held in New York on 15 and 16 December 2015,
Recalling the request in paragraph 111 of the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society that the General Assembly undertake an overall review of the implementation of the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society in 2015, and in this regard reaffirming the role of the General Assembly in this process, and reaffirming also that the Assembly, in its resolution 68/302 of 31 July 2014, decided that the overall review would be concluded by a two-day highlevel meeting of the General Assembly, preceded by an intergovernmental preparatory process that also meaningfully takes into account inputs from all relevant stakeholders;
Welcoming the constructive and diverse inputs from governments, the private sector, civil society, international organizations, the technical and academic communities and all other relevant stakeholders in taking stock of the progress made in the implementation of the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society and addressing potential information and communications technology gaps and areas for continued focus, as well as challenges, including bridging digital divides and harnessing information and communications technology for development,
Building on, among other relevant inputs, the 10-year review of the World Summit on the Information Society conducted by the Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) in May 2015, and its outcome document “Implementing World Summit on the Information Society Outcomes, a 10-year eview”; the multi-stakeholder 1o-year review event hosted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, entitled "Towards knowledge societies for peace and sustainable development", held in February 2013, and its final statement entitled, “Information and knowledge for all: an expanded vision and a renewed commitment”; and the multi-stakeholder high-level event for the review of the Summit, coordinated and hosted by the International Telecommunication Union and organized by the International Telecommunication Union, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and the United Nations Development Programme in June 2014, and its outcomes, the statement of the 10-year review of the World Summit on the Information Society on the implementation of the Summit outcomes and the vision of th 10-year review of the World Summit on the Information Society beyond 2015, both adopted by consensus,
Reaffirming its resolution 70/1 of 25 September 2015, entitled “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, in which it adopted a comprehensive, far-reaching and people-centred set of universal and transformative Sustainable Development Goals and targets, its commitment to working tirelessly for the full implementation of this Agenda by 2030, its recognition that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development, its commitment to achieving sustainable development in its three dimensions – economic, social and environmental – in a balanced and integrated manner, and building upon the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals and seeking to address their unfinished business,
Reaffirming its resolution 69/313 of 27 July 2015 on the Addis Ababa Action Agenda of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development, which is an integral part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, supports and complements it and helps to contextualize its means of implementation targets with concrete policies and actions, and reaffirms the strong political commitment to address the challenge of financing and creating an enabling environment at all levels for sustainable development in the spirit of global partnership and solidarity.
1. We reaffirm our common desire and commitment to the World Summit on the Information Society vision to build a people-centred, inclusive and development-oriented information society, where everyone can create, access, utilize and share information and knowledge, enabling individuals, communities and peoples to achieve their full potential in promoting their sustainable development and improving their quality of life, premised on the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and respecting fully and upholding the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
2. We further reaffirm our commitment to the Geneva Declaration of Principles, the Geneva Plan of Action and its action lines, the Tunis Commitment and the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society, and we recognize the need for Governments, the private sector, civil society, international organizations, the technical and academic communities and all other relevant stakeholders to continue to work together to implement the World Summit on the Information Society vision beyond 2015.
3. We reaffirm, moreover, the value and principles of multi-stakeholder cooperation and engagement that have characterized the World Summit on the Information Society process since its inception, recognizing that effective participation, partnership and cooperation of Governments, the private sector, civil society, international organizations, the technical and academic communities and all other relevant stakeholders, within their respective roles and responsibilities, especially with balanced representation from developing countries, has been and continues to be vital in developing the information society.
4. We welcome the remarkable evolution and diffusion of information and communications technologies, underpinned by the contributions of both public and private sectors, which have seen penetration into almost all corners of the globe, created new opportunities for social interaction, enabled new business models, and contributed to economic growth and development in all other sectors, while noting the unique and emerging challenges related to the their evolution and diffusion.
5. We recognize that increased connectivity, innovation, and access have played a critical role in enabling progress on the Millennium Development Goals, and we call for close alignment between the World Summit on the Information Society process and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, highlighting the crosscutting contribution of information and communications technology to the Sustainable Development Goals and poverty eradication, and noting that access to information and communications technologies has also become a development indicator and aspiration in and of itself.
6. We express concern, however, that there are still significant digital divides, such as between and within countries and between women and men, which need to be addressed through, among other actions, strengthened enabling policy environments and international cooperation to improve affordability, access, education, capacity-building, multilingualism, cultural preservation, investment and appropriate financing. Further, we acknowledge that a gender divide exists as part of the digital divides, and encourage all stakeholders to ensure the full participation of women in the information society and women’s access to new technologies, especially information and communications technologies for development.
7. We acknowledge that particular attention should be paid to address the unique and emerging information and communications technology challenges facing all countries, in particular developing countries, including African countries, least developed countries, landlocked developing countries, small island developing States, and middle-income countries, as well as countries and territories under foreign occupation, countries in situations of conflict, post-conflict countries and countries affected by natural disasters. Particular attention should also be paid to addressing the specific information and communications technology challenges facing children, youth, persons with disabilities, older persons, indigenous peoples, refugees and internally displaced people, migrants and remote and rural communities.
8. We reaffirm that Internet governance should continue to follow the provisions set forth in the outcomes of the summits held in Tunis and Geneva.
9. We reaffirm, moreover, that the same rights that people have offline must also be protected online. We emphasize that progress towards the vision of the World Summit on the Information Society should be considered not only as a function of economic development and the spreading of information and communications technologies but also as a function of progress with respect to the realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
10. Building confidence and security in the use of information and communications technologies for sustainable development should also be a priority, especially given growing challenges, including the abuse of such technologies for harmful activities from harassment to crime to terrorism.
11. We reiterate our commitments to the positive uses of the Internet and other information and communications technologies and to taking appropriate actions and preventive measures, as determined by law, against abusive uses of those technologies, as mentioned under the ethical dimensions of the information society of the Geneva Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action. We also recognize the importance of ethics, as set out in action line C10, in building the information society and strengthening the role of information and communications technologies as enablers of development.
Information and communications technology for development
12. We commit to harnessing the potential of information and communications technologies to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and other internationally agreed development goals, noting that they can accelerate progress across all 17 Sustainable Development Goals. We accordingly call on all Governments, the private sector, civil society, international organizations, the technical and academic communities and all other relevant stakeholders to integrate information and communications technologies into their approaches to implementing the Goals, and request United Nations entities facilitating the World Summit on the Information Society action lines to review their reporting and work plans to support implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
13. We recognize with satisfaction that the previous decade’s considerable increases in connectivity, use, creation, and innovation have created new tools to drive poverty eradication and economic, social and environmental betterment. For example, fixed and wireless broadband, mobile Internet, smartphones and tablets, cloud computing, open data, social media and big data were only in their early stages at the time of Tunis Agenda, and are now understood to be significant enablers of sustainable development.
14. We reaffirm that the expansion and use of information and communications technologies must continue to be a core focus and outcome of the World Summit on the Information Society process. We are highly encouraged that the number of mobile phone subscriptions is estimated to have risen from 2.2 billion in 2005 to 7.1 billion in 2015, and that by the end of 2015, 3.2 billion people are expected to be online, over 43 per cent of the total world population and of which 2 billion are from developing countries. We also note that fixed broadband subscriptions have reached a penetration rate of almost 10 per cent, as compared to 3.4 per cent in 2005, and that mobile broadband remains the fastest growing market segment, with continuous double -digit growth rates reaching 47 per cent in 2015, a value that increased 12 times since 2007.
15. We note that the digital economy is an important and growing part of the global economy, and that connectivity is correlated with increases in gross domestic product. Information and communications technologies have created a new generation of businesses, innovators, and jobs, and, while altering and making obsolete others, have also generally increased the efficiency, market access, and ingenuity of all sectors. We recognize the critical importance of expanding the participation of all countries, particularly developing countries, in the digital economy.
16. We also recognize that information and communications technologies are contributing to higher levels of social benefit and inclusion, providing new channels among citizens, businesses and Governments to share and augment knowledge, as well as participate in decisions that affect their lives and work. As envisioned by the World Summit on the Information Society action lines, we have seen information and communications technologies-enabled breakthroughs in Government, including the provision of public services, business, education, health care and employment, as well as in business, agriculture and science, with greater numbers of people access to services, and data that might previously have been out-of-reach or unaffordable.
17. We simultaneously recognize that information and communications technologies are fundamentally altering the way individuals and communities interact, consume, and spend their time, with new and unforeseen health and social consequences, many of which are positive, and some of which raise concerns.
18. We recognize that information and communications technologies have become important to disaster and humanitarian response and further reaffirm their role in enhancing and developing multi-hazard early warning systems, preparedness, response, recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction. We also encourage greater investments in innovation and technology development for long-term, multi-hazard and solution-driven research in the field of disaster risk management.
19. We recognize that information and communications technologies are also increasingly a means to support the diversity of cultural expression and the fast-growing cultural and creative industries, and we affirm that comprehensive, practical digital strategies are needed for the preservation of cultural heritage and access to recorded information in the digital environment in all its forms.
20. We further recognize that increasing use of information and communications technologies both generates certain environmental benefits and imposes certain environmental costs, which we aim to reduce. We welcome the opportunity afforded by sustainable energy to potentially decouple the growth of information and communications technologies from contributions to climate change, and we also note their catalytic value for deployment of renewable energy, energy efficiency, smart and resilient city concepts, and Internet-enabled delivery of services, among other abatement options. However, we recognize that we must encourage further action to improve the resource efficiency of information and communications technologies, and to reuse, recycle, and safely dispose of e-waste.
Bridging digital divides
21. Despite the previous decade’s achievements in information and communications technology connectivity, we express concern that many forms of digital divides remain, both between and within countries and between women and men. We note that divides are often closely linked to education levels and existing inequalities, and we recognize that further divides can emerge in the future, slowing sustainable development. Indicatively, we acknowledge that, as of 2015, only around 43 per cent of people globally have internet access, only 41 per cent of women had Internet access, and an estimated 80 per cent of online content was available in only one of 10 languages. The poor are the most excluded from the benefits of information and communications technology.
22. We further express concern that digital divides remain between developed and developing countries and that many developing countries lack affordable access to Information and communications technologies. As of 2015, only 34 per cent of households in developing countries have internet access, with significant variations by country, compared with more than 80 per cent in developed countries. This means that two thirds of the population residing in developing countries remain do not have Internet access.
23. We affirm our commitment to bridging digital and knowledge divides, and we recognize that our approach must be multidimensional and include an evolving understanding of what constitutes access, emphasizing the quality of that access. We acknowledge that speed, stability, affordability, language, local content, and accessibility for persons with disabilities are now core elements of quality, and that high-speed broadband is already an essential enabler of sustainable development. We moreover acknowledge, moreover, that differences in individuals’ capabilities to both use and create information and communications technologies represent a knowledge divide that perpetuates inequality. We note, too, the ambition to move beyond “information societies” to “knowledge societies”, in which information is not only created and disseminated, but put to the benefit of human development. We recognize that divides may change with technological and service innovation, and we call on all stakeholders, particularly United Nations entities that are facilitating the World Summit on the Information Society action lines, within their mandate and existing resources, to continue working together to regularly analyse the nature of digital divides, study strategies to bridge them, and make their findings available to the international community.
24. We underscore the need for further development of local content and services in a variety of languages and formats that are accessible to all people, who also need the capabilities and capacities, including media, information, and digital literacy skills to make use of and further develop information and communications technologies. Accordingly, we recognize the vital importance of the principles of multilingualism in the information society to ensure the linguistic, cultural and historical diversity of all nations. We further recognize the value of the variety of interoperable and affordable information and communications technology solutions, including such models as proprietary, open-source and free software.
25. We moreover call for a significant increase in access to information and communications technologies, and encourage all stakeholders to strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet for all. We welcome the efforts of all stakeholders in pursuit of these goals, including efforts being undertaken in the Connect 2020 Agenda for Global Telecommunication/ICT Development adopted at the Plenipotentiary Conference of the International Telecommunication Union in 2014.
26. We also recognize digital divides in digital uses and literacy and the need to bridge them.
27. We emphasize our concern that only 41 per cent of women have Internet access, and draw attention to the gender digital divide, which persists in access to and use of information and communications technologies, including in education, employment and other areas of economic and social development. We recognize that ending the gender digital divide and achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 5 on gender are mutually reinforcing efforts, and we commit to mainstream gender in the World Summit on the Information Society process, including through a new emphasis on gender in the implementation and monitoring of action lines, with the support of relevant United Nations entities, including the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women). We call for immediate measures to achieve gender equality in Internet users by 2020, especially by significantly enhancing women’s and girls’ education and participation in information and communications technologies, as users, content creators employees, entrepreneurs, innovators, and leaders. We reaffirm our commitment to ensure women’s full participation in decision-making processes related to information and communications technologies.
28. We recognize that certain policies have substantially contributed to bridging digital divides and the value of information and communications technologies for sustainable development, and we commit to continue identification and implementation of best and emerging practices for the establishment and functioning of education, innovation, and investment frameworks for information and communications technology.
29. We recognize the importance of free flow of information and knowledge, as the amount of information distributed worldwide grows and the role of communications becomes all the more important. We acknowledge that mainstreaming of information and communications technologies in school curricula, open access to data, the fostering of competition, the creation of transparent, predictable, independent and nondiscriminatory regulatory and legal systems, proportionate taxation and licensing fees, access to finance, facilitation of public-private partnerships; multi-stakeholder cooperation, national and regional broadband strategies, efficient allocation of radio frequency spectrum, infrastructure sharing models, community based approaches; and public access facilities have in many countries facilitated significant gains in connectivity and sustainable development.
30. We recognize that a lack of access to affordable and reliable technologies and services remains a critical challenge in many developing countries, particularly African countries, least developed countries, landlocked developing countries, small island developing States, and middle-income countries, as well as countries in situations of conflict, post-conflict countries, and countries affected by natural disasters. All efforts should be deployed to reduce the price of information and communications technologies and broadband access, bearing in mind that deliberate interventions, including through research and development and technology transfer on mutually agreed terms may be necessary to spur lower-cost connectivity options.
31. In building the information cociety, States are strongly urged to take steps with a view to the avoidance of, and refrain from, any unilateral measure not in accordance with international law and the Charter of the United Nations that impedes the full achievement of economic and social development by the population of the affected countries, and that hinders the well-being of their population.
32. We recognize that the radio frequency spectrum should be managed in the public interest and in accordance with legal principle, with full observance of national laws and regulations as well as relevant international agreements.
33. We call for a special focus on actions that improve the enabling environment for information and communications technology and expand related education and capacity-building opportunities. We also request Commission on Science and Technology for Development, within its mandate related to the follow up to the World Summit on the Information Society, and all action line facilitators, within their respective mandates and existing resources, to work with all stakeholders to regularly identify and promote specific, detailed actions to support the enabling environment for ICTs and development, as well as provide demand-driven policy advice, technical assistance and capacity-building, as appropriate, to realize them.
34. We welcome that total public and private spending on information and communications technology has increased substantially in the last decade, now reaching to the trillions of dollars annually, and that it has been complemented by a proliferation of new financing mechanisms, both results marking progress on paragraphs 23 and 27 of the Tunis Agenda.
35. We recognize, however, that harnessing information and communications technology for development and bridging digital divides will require greater and sustainable investment in infrastructure and services, capacity building, promotion of joint research and development and transfer of technology on mutually agreed terms. These mechanisms remain a primary focus for all countries and people, particularly in developing countries.
36. We commit to efficient public resource allocation to deployment and development of information and communications technology, recognizing the need for budgeting for information and communications technology across all sectors, especially education. We stress that capacity is a major barrier to closing digital divides, and we recommend that capacity development, including for innovation, be emphasized to empower local experts and local communities to fully benefit from and contribute to information and communications technologies applications for development. We recognize the potential to improve connectivity, especially in remote and rural areas, through universal service funds, publicly-funded network infrastructure, among other tools, particularly in areas where market conditions make investment difficult.
37. We note the commitments made under the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, and recognize that official development assistance and other concessional financial flows for information and communications technologies can make significant contributions to development outcomes, particularly where it can reduce the risk of public and private investment, and increase the use of information and communications technology to strengthen good governance and tax collection.
38. We recognize the critical importance of private sector investment in information and communications technology infrastructure, content, and services, and we encourage Governments to create legal and regulatory frameworks conducive to increased investment and innovation. We also recognize the importance of public-private partnerships, universal access strategies and other approaches to this end.
39. We also encourage a prominent profile for information and communications technologies in the new Technology Facilitation Mechanism established by the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, and for consideration of how it can contribute to implementation of the World Summit on the Information Society action lines.
40. We note with concern the challenges in implementing the Digital Solidarity Fund, which was welcomed in the Tunis Agenda as an innovative financial mechanism of a voluntary nature. We call for an ongoing evaluation of new innovative financing options in the annual review of the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society.
Human rights in the information society
41. We reaffirm the commitment set out in the Geneva Declaration and the Tunis Commitment to the universality, indivisibility, interdependence and interrelation of all human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the right to development as enshrined in the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action of the World Conference on Human Rights. We also reaffirm that democracy, sustainable development and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, as well as good governance at all levels, are interdependent and mutually reinforcing. We resolve to strengthen respect for the rule of law in international, as in national, affairs.
42. We recognize that human rights have been central to the vision of the World Summit on the Information Society and that information and communications technologies have shown their potential to strengthen the exercise of human rights, enabling access to information, freedom of expression and freedom of assembly and association.
43. We reaffirm, moreover, as an essential foundation of the Information Society, and as recognized in Human Rights Council resolution 26/13 of 26 June2014 and General Assembly resolution 69/166 of 18 December 2014, that the same rights that people have offline must also be protected online.
44. We note with concern, however, that there are serious threats to freedom of expression and plurality of information, and we call for the protection of journalists, media workers, and civil society space. We call on States to take all appropriate measures necessary to ensure the right to freedom of opinion and expression, the right to peaceful assembly and association, and the right not to be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with privacy, in accordance with their human rights obligations.
45. We reaffirm our commitment to Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, that everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression, in which it is states that everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and that this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. We further recall the commitments made under Article 19 by States that are party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. We underscore the need for respecting the independence of media. We believe that communication is a fundamental social process, a basic human need, and the foundation of all social organization, and is central to the information society. Everyone, everywhere should have the opportunity to participate, and no one should be excluded from the benefits that the information society offers.
46. We recall General Assembly resolution 69/166, and, in this context, emphasize that no person shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his or her privacy, family, home, or correspondence, consistent with countries’ obligations under international human rights law. Accordingly, we call upon all States to review their procedures, practices and legislation regarding the surveillance of communications, as well as their interception and collection of personal data, including mass surveillance, with a view to upholding the right to privacy as set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights for States that are party to the Covenant, by ensuring the full and effective implementation of all their obligations under international human rights law. (visit: privacy and data protection)
47. We reaffirm our commitment to the provisions of Article 29 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, that everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his or her personality is possible, and that, in the exercise of his or her rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society. These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations. In this way, we shall promote an Information Society where human dignity is respected. (visit: cybersecurity)
3. Building confidence and security in the use of information and communication technologies
48. We affirm that strengthening confidence and security in the use of information and communication technologies for the development of information societies and the success of such technologies is a driver for economic and social innovation.
49. We welcome the significant efforts by Governments, the private sector, civil society, the technical community and academia to build confidence and security in the use of information and communications technologies, including by the International Telecommunications Union, the United Nations Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the open-ended intergovernmental expert group to conduct a comprehensive study of the problem cybercrime, and the Group of Governmental Experts on Developments in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the Context of International Security (GGE), among other international, regional and national efforts.
50. We recognize the leading role for Governments in cybersecurity matters relating to national security. We further recognize the important roles and contributions of all stakeholders, in their respective roles and responsibilities. We reaffirm that building confidence and security in the use of information and telecommunications technologies should be consistent with human rights.
51. We recognize the important role of international law, especially the Charter of the United Nations, in building confidence and security in the use of information and telecommunications technologies by States and welcome the 2013 and 2015 reports of the Group of Governmental Experts on Developments in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the Context of International Security.
52. We are concerned, however, about certain growing uses of information and communications technologies that threaten security and development benefits, including the use of such technologies for terrorist purposes and cybercrime. We express the need for existing legal and enforcement frameworks to keep up with the speed of technological change and its application. Furthermore, we note concerns that attacks against States, institutions, companies, other entities, and individuals are now being undertaken through digital means. We reiterate our belief that a global culture of cybersecurity needs to be promoted and developed and that cybersecurity measures should be implemented in cooperation with all stakeholders and international expert bodies in order to foster trust and security in the information society.
53. We call on Member States to intensify efforts to build robust domestic security in information and communications technologies and the use thereof, consistent with their international obligations and domestic law. We further call on Member States to cooperate on transnational issues of information and communications technologies and the use thereof, including capacity-building and cooperation in combating the criminal misuse of the technologies and preventing the use of technology, communications and resources for criminal or terrorist purposes.
54. We recognize the challenges that States, in particular developing countries, face in building confidence and security in the use of information and communications technologies. We call for renewed focus in capacity-building, education, knowledge-sharing and regulatory practice, as well as promoting multistakeholder cooperation at all levels and raising awareness among users of information and communications technologies, particularly among the poorest and most vulnerable.
4. Internet Governance
55. We reaffirm paragraph 55 of the Tunis Agenda, and in this regard we recognize that the existing arrangements have worked effectively to make the Internet the highly robust, dynamic and geographically diverse medium that it is today, with the private sector taking the lead in day-to-day operations and with innovation and the creation of value at the edges. However, almost 4 billion people, representing approximately two thirds of the people residing in developing countries, remain offline.
56. We recognize that there are many cross-cutting international public policy issues that require attention and have not been adequately addressed.
57. We take note of paragraph 29 of the Tunis Agenda and recognize that the management of the Internet as a global facility includes multilateral, transparent, democratic and multi-stakeholder processes, with the full involvement of Governments, the private sector, civil society, international organizations, technical and academic communities, and all other relevant stakeholders in accordance with their respective roles and responsibilities.
58. We reiterate the working definition of Internet governance set out in paragraph 34 of the Tunis Agenda, as the development and application by Governments, the private sector and civil society, in their respective roles, of shared principles, norms, rules, decision-making procedures and programmes that shape the evolution and use of the Internet.
59. We reaffirm the principle agreed in the Geneva Declaration that the management of the Internet encompasses both technical and public policy issues and should involve all stakeholders and relevant intergovernmental and international organizations, within their respective roles and responsibilities, as set out in paragraph 35 of the Tunis Agenda.
60. We take note of the hosting by the Government of Brazil of the NETMundial Global Multi-stakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance, in Sao Paulo, on 23 and 24 April 2014.
61. We recognize that there is a need to promote greater participation and engagement in Internet governance discussions of Governments, the private sector, civil society, international organizations, the technical and academic communities, and all other relevant stakeholders from developing countries, particularly African countries, least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States, and middle-income countries, as well as countries in situations of conflict, post-conflict countries and countries affected by natural disasters. We call for strengthened stable, transparent, and voluntary funding mechanisms to this end.
62. We note the important regulatory and legislative processes in some Member States on the open Internet in the context of the information society and the underlying drivers for it, and call for further information-sharing at the international level on the opportunities and challenges.
63. We acknowledge the role of the Internet Governance Forum as a multi-stakeholder platform for discussion of Internet governance issues. We support the recommendations in the report of the Working Group on Improvements to the Internet Governance Forum of the Commission on Science and Technology for Development, which the General Assembly took note of in its resolution 68/198 of 20 December 2013, and we call for their accelerated implementation. We extend for another 10 years the existing mandate of the Internet Governance Forum as set out in paragraph 72 to 78 of the Tunis Agenda. We recognize that during this period, the Forum should continue to show progress on working modalities and the participation of relevant stakeholders from developing countries. We call on the Commission, within its current reporting, to give due consideration to fulfilment of the recommendations in the report of its Working Group.
4.1. Enhanced Cooperation
64. We acknowledge that various initiatives have been implemented and some progress has been made in relation to the process towards enhanced cooperation detailed in paragraphs 69 to 71 of the Tunis Agenda.
65. We note, however, divergent views held by Member States with respect to the process towards implementation of enhanced cooperation as envisioned by the Tunis Agenda. We call for continued dialogue and work on the implementation of enhanced cooperation. We accordingly request the Chair of the Commission on Science and Technology for Development, through the Economic and Social Council, to establish a working group to develop recommendations on how to further implement enhanced cooperation as envisioned by the Tunis Agenda, taking into consideration the work that has been done on this matter so far. The group, which shall be constituted no later than July 2016, will decide at the outset on its methods of work, including modalities, and will ensure the full involvement of all relevant stakeholders, taking into account all their diverse views and expertise. The group will submit a report to the Commission on Science and Technology for Development at its twenty-first session for inclusion in the annual report of the Commission to the Council. The report will also serve as an input to the regular reporting of the Secretary-General on implementations of the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society.
5. Follow-up and Review
66. We reaffirm that the ongoing implementation of outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society will require the continued commitment and action of all stakeholders, including Governments, the private sector, civil society, international organizations, and the technical and academic communities, and that regular review of progress of the full set of Summit action lines will be essential to achieving the vision of the Summit.
67. We call for the continuation of annual reports on the implementation of outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society, through the Commission on Science and Technology for Development, to the Economic and Social Council, taking into account the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and in this regard invite the high-level political forum on sustainable development to consider the annual reports of the Commission on Science and Technology for Development. We encourage the members of the United Nations Group on the Information Society to contribute to the reports.
68. We also call for the continuation of the work of the United Nations Group on the Information Society in coordinating the work of United Nations agencies, according to their mandates and competencies, and we invite the regional commissions to continue their work in implementation of the World Summit on the Information Society action lines and their contribution to the reviews thereof, including through regional reviews.
69. We recognize that the World Summit on the Information Society Forum has been a platform for discussion and sharing of best practices in the implementation of the World Summit outcomes by all stakeholders, and it should continue to be held annually.
70. We acknowledge the importance of data and statistics to support information and communications technology for development, and call for further quantitative data to support evidence-based decision-making, as well as for the inclusion of information and communications technology statistics in national strategies for the development of statistics and in regional statistical work programmes and for strengthening local statistical capacity and targeted training by Governments and all other relevant stakeholders. The activities of the Partnership on Measuring Information and Communications Technology for Development have made a valuable contribution to data-gathering and dissemination and should be continued..
71. We recognize that, in the preparation of this review, a number of challenges and opportunities have been identified, requiring longer-term consultations to determine appropriate responses, and that the pace of the development of information and communications technologies necessitates higher-level consideration of progress achieved and future action. We accordingly request the General Assembly to hold a high-level meeting on the overall review of the implementation of the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society in 2025, involving the input and participation of all stakeholders, including in the preparatory process, to takes stock of progress on the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society and identify both areas of continued focus and challenges. We recommend that the outcome of the high-level meeting be as an input into the review process for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Editor's note: While the text of this instrument is taken verbatim from the original text, hyperlinks in this document were added by the GIP Digital Watch team.