IGF 2023 Day 0 Event #204 WSIS High-Level Dialogue: Multistakeholder Partnerships Driving Digital Transformation

Sunday, 8th October, 2023 (06:20 UTC) - Sunday, 8th October, 2023 (07:50 UTC)
WS 3 – Annex Hall 2
Global Digital Governance & Cooperation

International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and Government of Japan


Moderator: Ms. Gitanjali Sah, Strategy and Policy Coordinator, ITU

Mr. Yoshio Utsumi, Former Secretary-General of the ITU (keynote speech)


  1. Ms. Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Secretary-General, ITU
  2. H.E. Mr. Hiroshi Yoshida, Vice Minister, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Japan
  3. H.E. Mr. Nizar Ben Neji, Minister, Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies, Tunisia
  4. H.E. Mr. Nezar Patria, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Communications and Informatics, Indonesia  
  5. H.E. Ms. Agnė Vaiciukevičiūtė, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Transport and Communications, Lithuania
  6. Amb. Thomas Schneider, Ambassador and Director of International Affairs, Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM), Switzerland
  7. Mr. Robert Opp, Chief Digital Officer, UNDP
  8. Ms. Maria Fernanda Garza, Chair, International Chamber of Commerce
  9. Ms. Anriette Esterhuysen, Senior Advisor on internet governance, policy advocacy and strategic planning, Association for Progressive Communications
  10. Mr. Umirbek Abdullaev, Youth Envoy, ITU Generation Connect, Kyrgyzstan
Onsite Moderator

Gitanjali Sah, Strategy and Policy Coordinator, ITU

Online Moderator

Gitanjali Sah, Strategy and Policy Coordinator, ITU


Gitanjali Sah, Strategy and Policy Coordinator, ITU


1. No Poverty
2. Zero Hunger
3. Good Health and Well-Being
4. Quality Education
5. Gender Equality
6. Clean Water and Sanitation
7. Affordable and Clean Energy
8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
10. Reduced Inequalities
11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
12. Responsible Production and Consumption
13. Climate Action
14. Life Below Water
15. Life on Land
16. Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
17. Partnerships for the Goals

Targets: The UNGA overall review on the implementation of WSIS resulted in a UNGA Resolution A/70/125 that was adopted on 16 December 2015. The resolution provides guidance on the implementation of the WSIS Outcomes till 2025. In particular it calls for close alignment between the WSIS process and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (para.5) and requests all stakeholders to integrate ICTs into their approaches to implementing the Goals, and request UN entities facilitating WSIS Action Lines to review their reporting and work plans to support implementation of the 2030 Agenda, (para.12). ICTs are identified as targets in the SDGs for education, gender equality, infrastructure (universal and affordable access to the internet) and in the implementation goal as a cross cutting tool to be utilized for the achievement of all of the SDGs. The effective implementation of the WSIS Action Lines can help accelerate the achievement of the SDGs. To that end, the WSIS SDGs Matrix, developed by the UN Action line Facilitators, clearly shows the linkage between each Action line and the 17 SDGs and provides rationale for each. At the WSIS Forum 2015, ITU coordinated the WSIS Action Lines and SDG matrix with the UN Action Line Facilitators. This is a new tool developed by a number of United Nations agencies based on their expertise and mandate to map how ICTs may contribute to the implementation of the new SDGs. The Matrix serves as an easy reference for stakeholders engaged in shaping the future of both, the SDGs and the WSIS processes beyond 2015 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. See full details at the following website: www.wsis.org/sdg


Following the Keynote Address by the session organizers, there will be a high-level dialogue among the panelists.


ICTs are reshaping industries, economies, and societies, driving digital transformation. They enable societal change, unlock opportunities, foster innovation, and bridge the digital divide. Despite 5.4 billion people (67% of the world's population) using the Internet, 2.6 billion remain offline[1]. Bridging this gap is crucial for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Collaboration and innovative technologies can accelerate progress towards the SDGs, creating a sustainable and inclusive future.

The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) serves as a global UN framework, facilitating digital cooperation among various stakeholders, promoting multistakeholder engagement, and aligning with the SDGs. The WSIS Process has stood the test of time and is highly relevant in the digital age, as it continues to remain at the forefront of leveraging the power of ICTs for sustainable development and to accelerate the achievement of the SDGs. Guided by the WSIS Action Lines, the WSIS implementation framework fosters inclusive information and knowledge societies, with the WSIS Forum facilitating multi-stakeholder dialogue and collaboration, the WSIS Stocktaking Database serving as a repository of projects, sharing best practices and initiatives, and the United Nations Group on the Information Society (UNGIS) functioning as an interagency mechanism to coordinate and support WSIS-related activities among over 30 UN agencies. The WSIS process is complementary to other global processes, including the Global Digital Compact (GDC). To avoid duplication of existing multistakeholder processes, it is important to foster synergies between the WSIS+20 process and the Global Digital Compact.

This high-level dialogue will showcase the transformative role of ICTs in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Esteemed speakers and industry leaders will share implementation experiences and the accomplishments of WSIS, and discuss and foster global strategic digital collaborations.

Key issues to be addressed in this session:

  • Identifying achievement and gaps in the implementation of the WSIS Action Lines for the past 20 years.
  • Creating an accessible and equitable digital landscape for all, leaving no one behind.
  • Developing a common vision for the future of WSIS beyond 2025.
  • Strengthening digital collaborations and global partnerships among stakeholders.
  • Galvanizing collective action to drive digital transformation efforts.