The following are the outputs of the captioning taken during an IGF intervention. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
>> Welcome to all that are here physically. We have almost standing room only packed room which is a good sign and, of course, welcome to the virtual participants. This is our first consultation open consultation process to prepare for the WSIS forum 2023. Warm welcome to you all and I want to start by thanking our co-organizers from UNESCO and UNCTAD and UNDP and thank other members of the UN family. We have DESA here and FAO here and we also have UN ECA. So welcome. Welcome to you. And thank you so much for your support. And, of course, I also want to thank all of you our WSIS stakeholders for your continued cooperation and, of course, your commitment to the WSIS process and to implementing the WSIS action lines. Because our efforts here are really helping to drive what I would say is crucial progress in terms of the global digital development agenda.
It is in this spirit of collaboration within the WSIS stakeholder community around the world that has really helped to nurture and to grow the WSIS forum over the many, many years since the first summits back in 2003 and 2005. Yesterday in the opening I asked how many of you were at the second phase of WSIS.
I don't know how many of you here were at either the first phase or the second phase. A few hands in the room. Five. You can also raise your hands in are remote. Fair to say we have come a long way since then but, of course, we have much work to do.
Of course, today the consultation process. We want to hear from you. We really want to hear from you what who are we can do to further strengthen the WSIS process and be able to better leverage digital technologies so we can transform national as well as international development outcomes. The WSIS forum 2023 will be held in Geneva. In march. We will convene from the 13th to the 17th of March. The theme for the forum will be WSIS action lines for building back better and accelerating the achievement of the SDGs. I think that he state that the potential of digital technologies can help make up the lost ground because we lost a lot of ground of course, during the pandemic.
And really help to drive forward the SDGs and he noted that that potential was absolutely tremendous.
His message I would say was further echoed by world leaders when the general assembly took place in September where we saw digital references being made time and time again by heads of government, really pushing to build back better from the pandemic and, of course, to accelerate progress towards achieving the SDGs. I hope you can hear me well. I feel like the sound is breaking up. You're okay? Good.
I also wanted to mention that today the ITU released its latest facts and figures which gives a sort of comprehensive snapshot of the state of connectivity worldwide. Yes, this has been some progress but I would say it's not encouraging for those that are most in need. We still have a third of humanity that is totally disconnected from networks and services that can transform their lives and opportunities. While affordability has improved, I should say, slightly, it is still a huge challenge representing in many cases the 10% of monthly GNI. So we still have a lot to do on affordability. We have much to dod good news in turning to the process is that the WSIS action lines give us a comprehensive framework and that is a framework that we can rally around in terms of our global development efforts and to be able to leverage the catalytic potential of ICTs to get the SDGs back on track. This open consultation process offers you, offers all of you stakeholders a direct opportunity to shape the agenda, to help build the program of next year's forum. I would urge you to be direct and put forward your ideas and to really push for the most pressing issues that you think we should be address. What are the hot topics that would you would like to Sea-Taclele in March next year. Of course, the forum we anticipate will -- see tackled. The program will have a rich and diverse program and a series of workshops and high level dialogues and knowledge cafes and special focus sessions and prizes. I know many of you look forward to the prizes. A hack athon, exhibition and much, much more. I do encourage you and we have mentioned that some have already come forward. Make your submissions as soon as possible. I hope. And really do take advantage of the opportunity to be directly engaged.
And to influence the program. I think the high quality and the relevance of the WSIS dialogues and debates reflect the and the hands on involvement of you the WSIS community. Collaboration, of course, has always been at the heart and soul of the WSIS and I'm confident that together we will continue to make the best use of this multi-stakeholder platform and multi-stakeholder partnership opportunities. We do look forward to your inputs and also your contributions to the stock taking database if you have not seen it before. How many inputs do we have? I do have to -- I have to say or I would get in trouble that the WSIS forum is an extra budgetary activity for the ITU and for our partners. And so we do encourage you to consider sponsorship. We are always grateful for those contributions that come in from our partners and we would like you to consider ways you can potentially partner and sponsor the WSIS forum. I want to reference the ITU plenary conference that took place back if September.
The UN secretary general in his opening address reiterated the importance of this process. He reiterated the need to further support the world summit on the information society outcomes and the process that we are pursuing at the WSIS forum and, of course, here at the IGF. I would say also at that conference it was important to note that our Member States unanimously supported our WSIS action lines and the links that the action lines have to achieving the 17 sustainable development goals. I know Dr. Minken is with us and he has been a big advocate of linking those two processes and it is great that the recent ITU conference underscored that important linkages. We did have a side session on the WSIS consultation and mechanisms that was hosted by our WSIS chair for 2022 and I believe his excellency the minister from Nigeria is supposed to be joining us minister Isa and we want to thank him for his able and capable leadership of the WSIS forum 2022.
Solet me assure you, ladies and gentlemen of our commitment to the WSIS process and, of course, to the multi-stakeholder collaboration that is really at the core of this effort. ITU will continue to coordinate very actively with all of our UN partners in support of the overall review of the WSIS outcomes by the general assembly as you all know that that overall review.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you for all working together to ensure that the digital divide is closing. And now I would like to brief you a bit that we will have like a short session with our panelists where we will inform you about some of the updates relevant updates. I will then give you a presentation on the updates and presentations for the WSIS forum and we will hope up the floor. We do have time the organizers told me we could continue for a bit longer than 1:15 as well. I would like to check if excellencies with us from Nigeria okay. I have got a pleasage that he was summoned by the president so he has sent -- I'm not sure the technical colleagues have the video with them. Could you please play it if you already have it. In the meanwhile we could invite Dr. Tawik Jelassi. We have been working hand in hand to implement the process. Thank you very much for being here today and the floor is yours.
>> TAWIK JELASSI: Thank you very much. Dear Doreen, excellencies and honorable members of parliament, distinguished ladies and gentlemen I'm pleased to join you this afternoon for the important session ahead of the WSIS review which is, of course, a very important topic forall of us. Actually, the UNESCO general conference asked us to submit ahead of its meetings next year the WSIS review report. So it does concern all of us across the UN system and beyond of course, all of the stakehooders who have been involved.
I'm very much convinced that the actual line is from WSIS which will continue to be forward looking. UNESCO is in charge of a number of these action items and, of course, they are consistent with the UN secretary general road map for digital cooperation. If you allow me I would like maybe to share with you a few examples of what we have one coulding as far as UNESCO as a contribution to WSIS. Are on the access dimension. We heard Doreen mentioning the digital connectivity gap and big challenge that we all face. Some of outcome are aware of the UNESCO roam X and dynamic on the (?) and internet universality indicators. ROAH standing for human rights, open, accessible and multi-stakeholder approach to digital. That is one contribution, one piece.
On artificial intelligence just a year ago the 193 Member States of UNESCO adopted the UNESCO recommendation of the ethics of AI. The first of its kind. Normative instrument in the world looking at the ethics of AI.
In terms of open signs, again, a year ago there was another UNESCO recommendation on open science which is important I believe to implement open data and ensure open access to scientific knowledge which can benefit many Member States including less developed or developing Member States on education. You may have heard of the transforming education which was called for by the UN secretary general. UNESCO was the lead agency and we hosted the presummit in June in Paris at UNESCO with 150 ministers of education taking part.
I believe this is very important because as part of WSIS and also as part of the SDGs education which is SDG number 4 how can we leverage digital in the future of learning and teaching. I can talk for hours about this being a former actor dem exmyself. As you know, this is a paradigm shift the way we can leverage technology core capabilities in education. In terms of culture just two months ago we had (?) the world's largest conference devoted to cultural policies. This conference did not take place for 40 years. We are able to organize it this past September in Mexico. And we had 135 ministers of cultures from all over the world taking part of it.
And let me here mention two other elements in digital and cultural. Certainly digital can definitely advance lang wistic diversity and multi-lingualism. We have more languages in cyberspace because that will help bridge the digital divide if people find the language they master or speak available on the internet. Not to say tough luck if you don't speak French, English, Spanish and a few other languages. We are trying to do our part to contribute to linguistic diversity. We are in the process of (?) a repository of over 8,000 languages offed world many of which are threaten dollars of extinction. For us it is one way of safeguarding languages and making them available to all.
And this coming December 13 we will be launching the international decade on indigenous languages. 2022. 2032. A decade-long effort by UNESCO but from cooperation with others including the office of the high commissioner on human rights but the UN DESA are involved with us but you are the lead agency to implement the international decade on Indigenous languages. Finally I mentioned yesterday in my opening remarks -- oops -- I mentioned that we are trying to contribute to the discussion as far as the regulation of digital platforms to ensure that information is a public good and not information being a public hazard or becoming a public harm. How to regulate digital platforms while safeguarding free speech online. I said there is a truly following an inclusive multi-stakeholder process including our 193 Member States, civil society, in EGOs academia and research institutions also and very important involving the technology companies and kittal platform operators. The aim here to come up with a global model regulatory framework for digital platforms.
That could inform Member States national regulatory systems and hopefully with the commitment and engagement of the tech companies we can have for the first time such a global regulatory platform to ensure or to combat misinformation, disinformation, hate speech online, conspiracy theories, cyber bullying or harassment and so on and so forth. This takes place at UNESCOheadquarters and you are invited. More than share, the vision of WSIS we try to contribute by, of course, implementing some (?) which are allocated to UNESCO which contributing with the other UN organizations and other stakeholders to obviously hopefully have a positive review of which is which is plus 20, in 2005. Some of us were there. But we can take a stock of what has been achieved and what remains to be done after 20 years of the physical landmark event.
So again, we look for all to continuing collaborating with all of you. I want to stress again our commitment at UNESCO and to make sure also that we are here for people centered human rights based development oriented WSIS plus 20. And as it was said yesterday, technology is a means towards an end. Technology is not an end in itself. It is the people who can get the best out of technology. Thank you all.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you, Dr. Jelassi. UNESCO is a crucial part of the WSIS process in terms of the content as well culture. It takes media access, he learning and it is a whole range and in fact a long time back the community decided that it is not only the information sew eyety but information and knowledge societies that so we should be called WSITS. With the knowledge society in it. Thank you so much.
We would like to check if the video from the minister of Nigeria is now available. And if you could please play it. The technical team. (Video).
(Video) (garbled audio).
(break in audio).
>> MODERATOR: Thank you so much excellency. And we miss you not being here with us. But you're definitely here in spirit. Thank you for your leadership guidance. Always identifying the key trends, opportunities, challenges and the different action lines. We are very thankful to you for your guidance to the WSIS process.
I would like no now love on to our cohost actually UN ECA, Mr. Jean-Paul Adam is with us today. Over to you, sir, for your remarks.
>> JEAN-PAUL ADAM: Thank you very much. And good afternoon from Addis Ababa all of those following online and my fellow panelists who are exemplifying the type of leadership we require for the full implementation of WSIS. I will cover a few points and priorities from the African perspective as I in my role as the director for technology and climate change in the United Nations economic commission of Africa.
The time before us but look forward to any follow-up questions. Let me start by underlying -- underlining in particular what I would say the both the risk and the opportunity associate with both the digital transformation that needs to happen and the move towards climate resilience that needs to happen. The UN secretary general underlined that these are potentially the most transformative issues facing the world but I would -- and in Africa is very much at the center of this transformation because Africa remains the least connected continent and the most affected by climate change. Our estimates show that climate change will cost African countries 5% of GDP as a minimum offer an rivalry by 2030. That is based on 2 degrees of warming. We are currently on track for close to 3 degrees of warming. This the Sahara this means potentially up to 15% of the GDP being lost. Looking at some tools have that been developing also unthe WSIS tracks the framework is very much around the African Union digital transformation strategy which was adopt in 2020 but also the AU policy framework adopted in July of 2022 which gives us one of the building blocks really for the digital France formation we want to see and we have also seen progress on the intra-operability framework at the continental level and also movement on the continentville approach for artificial intelligence. I think at the policy level we are really seeing leadership on the African continent in terms of moving forward in the digital transformations required.
On infrastructure, we can also see that this has been placed at the heart of the African Unions efforts with 11 ICT projects and the program for infrastructure development known as the PDA projects so of those adopted in 2021, 11 out of the 69 projects were ICT related again showing the importance of addressing this issue of accessibility because these are infrastructure projects. They are the -- the implementation of regional cables for example just to illustrate some of them.
And these are also coupled with a large proportion, the largest component of projects are around energy and I think we need to look at ICT and energy access going together and certainly in the African context. In the context of capacity building and development this is another very important aspect of the WSIS initiatives. And unfortunately, Africa does have the lowest implementation of appropriate capacity development aspects with only 25% of African citizens having access to basic ICT skills. And the situation is worse when you look at more advanced. Part of the approach to address this we are working with the government of Rwanda for the establishment of a regional center of excellence on education from science, technology, engineering the arts and mathematics or STEAM and we hope this will be up and running in 2023 and this will aim to support curriculum development including particularly focus on ICT across the continent at the early education level.
This has been complemented by our work on artificial eastbound tell against in addition to the continental approach on the policy level there is also established in 202 the regional center on artificial intelligence in the Republic of Congo which aims to connect academics, institutions across the content and this should complement the private sector initiative which are multiple. We also are encouraged by movements on the African continent of free trade area digital protocol and the -- this is being complemented by initiatives led by ECA such as the African trade exchange portal or ATEC which is currently ECA was involved in the establishment and now being run by the African import export bank with the idea to also support that in terms of financing.
To conclude, I would like to flag the importance of addressing the digital divide which is economic, we see the rise of inequality and that is linked to access to to ICT infrastructure and opportunities and also the go-aheader divide in terms of access to ICT education and access to the internet and access to appropriate digital tools and this needs to be addressed through a comprehensive aspects of capacity development but also by strong normative approaches both at the continental level, regional level and national level.
And I would like to conclude by emphasizing the role that we see for the digital compacts as part of the future summit for 2023. And we see this as an opportunity to build commitment at the national level as well as commitments from international entities, United Nations and all of our partners. We appreciate very much coming together for in WSIS process and we look forward to the successful implementation. Thank you so much.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you so much, jean-Paul and thank you for the committen of UN ECA. You are the Vice-Chair right now and also the chair of the WSIS regional commissions group. We are really thankful to category four commitment or our focal point and also our colleague from Geneva who is now here with you, thank you so much for your help. I would also like to acknowledge the presence of our regional director out here, regional director for Africa Ms. Ann Rochelle. Most of you know her. Thank you for being here with us.
We would now like to move on to our excellency Neema Lugangira. I hope I pronounced it properly. You have been a gender trend setter for the year and highlighted the important cause of online gender violence of making sure that we are able to do something together and to create platforms for partnerships to work towards that eradication of online gender violence. Over to you, excellency to hear some of our plans for the WSIS forum and what you are doing currently. Over to you.
>> NEEMA LUGANGIRA: Thank you very much. I must say I'm truly humbled to sit in such a prestigious panel. And I'm very grateful that some of my mentors are in the room, Dr. Tofik, Madam and from ITU, Mack tar and I think first I should begin with let's give a big round of applause for the new ITU SG who is also a lady.
So very big congratulations to you, lamb. So as introduced I'm Neema Lugangira. I'm a member of parliament in Tanzania but also the chairperson of the African parliament mer network on internet governance and in the house he would Have par lamentaryian.
I think you should all stand up and they see how we are here in our numbers. We have an MP from -- you can show your hands. We have an MP about south Sudan. Kenya. From Ghana, from Zimbabwe. MP from Uganda. From Botswana. Cameroon, knee gear, Nigeria, Zambia and Tanzania. 12 countries. And others are from other speaking in other sessions. And I think this is the first of its kind that we are having representation of African parliamentarians at this level which is something that had been missing. Often times discussions at global platforms, global dialogues they would be talking about things related to policy, things related to legislation but ourselves allege legislators were no with rs to be seen. Yet, there will be discussing things and pointing fingers at us that politicians are doing one, two, three, but those very same politicians are not engaged and are not part of the process.
So we decided to take it upon ourselves to come together as African parliamentarians. We 36 from 25 of a condition countries and making sure at the moment there is a regional representation north, east, central, west, south. As well as making slur that within the members of parliament there is from the ruling actor opposition party so even if ourselves we can keep ourselves on check. I'm from the ruling party in my country. And our secretary honorable sam George you can wave he is from from the opposition if fauna. We have a struggle and keep each other in check which is good and healthy.
Now when it comes to WSIS this year for the first time threw the support we were able to have a small round table join line for parliamentarian and I bring on the table to ITU Andy Ms. Coe and UNCA to make sure that wester have a parliamentarian session fill in Geneva because there is a difference having people there and discussing and Lee acing with the different participants vis-a-vis being done online. When you look at the 15 WSIS action lines parliamentarians play a role. You find that a lot of parliamentarians we are not very aware of what is this inning called WSIS because of the lack of participation of parliamentarians over time. Ones things we could be doing as a preparation towards WSIS next year is to have a targeted capacity building session on WSIS whereby we go through the action lines and we understand where we in terms of implementation, where he are we lacking and what can we do towards accelerating the implementation of those item.
The second item is we have kind of identified areas that we feel we can prioritize going forward and perhaps some of these can inform the discussions in WSIS.
The year 2024 has been pegged as the election year. We have over 75 elections globally and over 20 elections here in Africa and we want to champion the issue of digital democracy. I think the WSIS would be a good platform also do start that discussion in terms of how can we ensure that you know we -- the online space doesn't create room for distortion, misinformation that impacts democracy, that impacts the participation of citizens towards Democratic things.
But at the same time issues of artificial intelligence in a lots of African countries artificial intelligence is unknown andth is still fear that artificial intelligence L. take jobs and we have a huge youth and employment issue so all of these things we need to discuss and as parliamentarians would like to champion having model in our own respect investment countries so that for once we should not be reactive but can be proactive. The other issue we would also like to bring into place is the issue of rural connectivity. Looking at the last mile connectivity and it is critical when cussing issues of connectivity to look at it holistically and look at the issues of infrastructure that is electricity but the issues of just the plow bible network. I come from a border in rue been a capacity and -- in parts I cannot get connected to the Tanzania networks but I can get a signal from MTN in Rwanda. There is a huge opportunity for cross border business but if I'm at the border I cannot get access to my own country network but can get the neighboring country network that is a challenge that we need to address. But we all have the funds in our differentiated Trent countries. Mobile network companies don't want to come to places like where I'm from because it doesn't make business sense to them. What can we do to make it attractive for them to come. Otherwise we talk about the digital inclusion but it is not going to be realized in reality and the major its of the people are in the rural.
You know, we just had census and my region is number six in terms of population.
Politically, a good number of votes to we want to get those people connected. I want my people to see me here in Ethiopia talking in this amazing panel but how can they see me if they are not connected. That is the challenge. The ore challenge is digital literacy. Come one a targeted campaign for making sure that people understand how toothiest these gang et ceteras. Digital literacy and skills. Good taking computers to schools but do the teachers know how to use the computers. We are talking about digital health. Do the health practitioners know how to use these thing.
We arer talking about having data protection acts and mechanisms in place but do the people in the rural know how to navigate through 30s things have, most of us have smart phones but I tell you, you come to where the region that I'm from even if you send be a link to -- if you tell someone go to YouTube they don't know how to go to YouTube. You need to give them the link and they press the link and takes them to YouTube. That's a problem. How are we going to address these things.
And I feel this is the importants importance of getting parliamentarians to the table because we can bring out issues that are challenging the people that we represent. As opposed as yes, governments are all representing us, but they also have their own priorities. And sometimes this last mile connectivity our countries are big, we don't have enough funding. Everybody is scrambling around for the little funding that it there. So what can we do to make sure that we represent the voice of the people on the ground and this is where I think having onboard parliamentarians becomes critical because each one of us can represent the voice of the people and I believe WSIS the UN we need to focus on the last mile.
Finally, it is the issue of girls and women. We have to make sureth is a huge gender divide. Gender digital divide and as the WSIS fender trend setterky confidently say one of the things that will continue to expand this digital gender divide it online abuse.
It is something that is not being addressed enough. But it is something that is horrific. I don't think any of you in this room would want to be in my shoes as a female parliamentarian. The abuse that we endure some of my Tanzanian colleagues are here and maybe they can attest to it. The abuse that I endure online is horrific. But we persevere because if we don't then it has a very bad impact.
And the impact is on two folds. One, everybody is trying to say that we need to get more girls and women into leadership positions. Now imagine an aspiring girl sees Neema Lugangira, this supposedly powerful female politician who can sit here next to Ms. Doreen but when you are abused you are helpless. And you can't do anything. Yes, there is a cyber law but it's not clear how can you get your rights. And this brings knee another issue and I'm leer I'm really triology not to get emotional here but this brings to the issue of freedom of expression.
Freedom of expression is also used as a blanket to abuse people. Which is not expressed enough. We talk about freedom of expression. We champion and advocate for freedom of expression but forget one critical thing. You should not use your freedom of expression to make me not use my freedom of expression.
So I will give you an example in the Tanzanian parliament we have 143 female members of parliament. Less than 10% are online. Let that sink in. Less than 10% are online. Because of the abuse. Yet we are talking about bridging the gender divide. We need to address the issue of online abuse. And unfortunately when women in politics are being abused online nobody comes to their defense, even the human rights defenders.
Because you want to know why? They say if you get into politics you should have thick skin. You should take it. Or you should be able to accept criticism. And what I said, we are not afraid of criticism. Criticize the agenda, not the gender. So my appeal to all of you and particularly to our SG as a female, you need to help us. Curb the issue of online abuse. And we need to find ways to get the social media platforms to have the right social responsibility. Because they are also benefiting from this abuse. It is giving them ratings and somehow they must be benefiting monetarily. But how do we get to sit on the same table with these social media platforms.
And express this to them. So on my closing, I am very grateful to be here. Very grateful to get this opportunity and it is my hope it will be the beginning to many, the beginning to a lot of such engagements and beginning to giving us this opportunity of global south parliamentarians coming on global settings such as this and expressing the challenges we are enduring towards making Africa and globally to be digital. One of the ambitions of the African parliamentarian is to accelerate and expand the role of African parliamentarians. We are a market of over 1.5 billion and growing with you because offed lack of regulatory frameworks we are being taken advantage of from a lot of ways around in particular in the digital space. So we need your help so that we can also do our part and collaborate together. For give me if I have taken a little bit of time. Thank you very much for this opportunity and I'm humbled to be here. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you. Your passion is infectious. We will make sure that we do things together and there be are many people in the room eager to work with us on the issues you have highlighted and I can see Doreen is also noting. We will work closely with you on all of these issues. I would like to appreciate Mr. Michael Hodin being with us since H. a.m. New York time. Thank you so much, Mike, for again a very passion ate persons on ICTs and older persons. We have managed to have our WSIS track on ICTs and older persons reflected on the UN resolution on aging. A great thick for are partnership with UN DES A&W HO and over to you Mike to present some of the things weed oring and the plans for 2023.
>> MICHAEL HODIN: Thank you. We are delighted to be here. The global coalition on aging representing the business voice in the aging space and a part of our great work over the last three to four years with WSIS.
Let me open by as others congratulating Madam secretary general on your new appointment, your election. It is wonderful and we look forward to working with you and the rest of ITU and WSIS. I will just mention three or four points around this aging space as it were.
Number one, I would like us to think of this as the glass half full, not half empty. Here in our 21st century we have reached a milestone that for the history of humanity has been unimaginable. The prospect of growing old is becoming the norm. It is the norm everywhere on the planet. We need to get it even more so in many countries around the world. But it is the case that we today have a billion of us over 60 that over the next couple of decades will become two billion as some of my former colleague speakers said. This in itself is a marketplace for many products and defenses including digital technology. The two billion people marketplace over 60. Think of it that way no matter what you are developing or approach.
Secondly, is that this milestone of longevity is largely a function of 20th century innovation. Innovation in sanitation, innovation in biomedicine, innovation in technology.
And through the work of ITU and WSIS we want to continue that including and particularly around technology. Over the last two years, and now for 2023, we have been proud and delighted to partner on a variety of topics. One is we have had the creation of the healthy aging innovation prize. Last year we had over 120 submissions in tens and tens of countries arounded world. This year we are going to open it up and we have opened it up and we expect even more.
Secondly, to highlight as you already said this is profoundly connected to the decade of healthy aging. It is a decade that represents the recognition of our reaching this longevity but also that in every society as it modernizes there are more old than young.
Thirdly, I would point out that we can continue to make a difference in the lives of all of us including older adults around the planet.
Number one, what is our digital home look like? What did K. it be? Whether talking about a digital home with respect to healthcare, or a digital home with respect to applications of, for example, streaming services. But we have to have all of it and we have to have a everywhere. Number two, that we have particularly from 2023 we can have a cross-generational approach. What is the relationship at WSIS between our older adult track which we now have fully entrenched and our youth track. And how can we work together on all sides?
And then thirdly, how do we make a difference with respect to the application of disease? We recently had a silver economy for run and the WSIS team were there, thank you very much. And we identified a variety of areas. One good example is the application of technology in bone health. We know who 80% of those with the first fracture are and through digital technology we can help identify them and then treat and rehabilitate. That will be huge so that we can bring bone health to the diseases of aging solutions as we are trying to do in some other areas whether it is cardiovascular health, we apply to care giving and for example Alzheimers. We are delighted to work with you again in 2023. We will open up the healthy aging innovation prize to all. And we look for new area of work including with the youth track. Thank you very much. We are delighted and again thank you to Madam secretary for your new election.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much, Mike. Thank you for all of these new very important topics in the area of aging that you have highlighted, especially role of ICTs with Alzheimers and reality and digital economic access or E which is and financial trans axes. We will be dealing with all of the topics in the track with all of our partners. Thank you very much. I see that scarlet and Mei Lin Fung have been waiting patiently. Scarlet is the co-organizer. The floor is over to you.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much. I just wanted to say to distinguished panelists, colleagues and friends on behalf of UNCTAD I would like to convey regrets that we could not be with you in Addis to launch the all important open consultation for the WSIS forum 2023 but it is great to see that you have a packed room and you already had a very passionate interventions explaining what is important to you about what should be discussed in the world summit on the information society forum. As you know, at UNCTAD we bring to WSIS the perspective of the digital economy evolving at record speed boosted bid COVID 19 pandemic and during the past couple of years we have seen a surge in the E commerce and digital trade. Some increases have been truly mind boggling. For example between 2017 and 2021 the share of people Angola who shopped even line rose from 7 to 42% and Thailand 17 to 51%. At the same time, many countries and businesses with lower levels of digittial readiness have struggled to harness digital solutions for economic resilience. We have therefore been reminded of both of enormous potential of kit allege transformation as well aces the significant risks of widening digital divides an inequalities. The WSIS forum offers a rare opportunity for all stakeholders in all countries to come together. and we look forward to contributing from that lens. The 2023 edition will be a timely occasion to also consider the role of digitalization for all of the Sustainable Development Goal. As you know the clock is ticking and we have the planned UN summit of the future in 2024 as elation the review of WSIS plus 20.
So we encourage all stakeholders to use this open consultation process to feed in your views and ideas that can help shape the WSIS forum 2023 to make it as useful as possible especially in the current young Fuhr. So we look forward to hearing from you and thank you for your attention.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much, scarlet FOndeur. Also the lead facilitating agency for E business along with UPU and ITC. Thank you for your commitment with the process. Of course, we saved the best for the last. Thank you four your patience, Mei Lin Fung. Mei Lin Fung has been our mentor friend, philosopher and guide in terms of the whole digital gender inclusion process. We have initiated an online WSIS gender repository and the he trend sed E. setters Sunday we have been able to achieve a lot together. Over to you to share some of the activities we have done and our plans for 2023.
>> MEI LIN FUNG: Thank you, and I have given a copy of my reMarcs in the chat as well. I'm the chair of the people setting internet and a proud trend setter but also the God mother of the customer replace low pressure management. In technology they call me old school tech. I chair the IEEE society for the social plagiarism coitions technical committee for sustainability and Reptilia co-chaired the UN commission on the status of women 67 session oned theme of digital innovation. I want to foe about my remarks on where women can play a role. Digital affects work places, homes, sports, social life, it is coming into every aspect of human life for those who can afford it.
For those who cannot, the digital divide must be bridged, or secker toes of sew stity will not be full participants in the future and with the possibility of future social unrest. With all these opportunities and dangers that we face, what can we to? A renowned leader said at a time of the most severe crisis Hyskontry had faced, kill war, this is what he said "we can succeed only by concert. It is not can any of us imagine better but can we all do better. The dog mas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act annoy. Said Abraham lin come in -- act anew said Abraham Lincoln in 1861. We have to go beyond acknowledging that women have an important role to play in shaping the future. We are 50% of humanity. Women can drive the setting up of future frameworks for digit am innovation. With a woman as the first ITU secretary general to be a woman, bravo Doreen Bogdan-Martin, we can rise to the occasion and demand that digital serves humanity and stewards the planet.
Physics as a science needed physics labs so digital needs labs for developing policy, for developing collaborative regulation that serves the people and the planet.
So what kind of labs are we talking about? Community living learning labs. So we can begin to understand the consequences an long-term impact of digital interventions and digital innovations. We need as a secretary general of the United Nations said, we have to harness the power of digital technologies but we have to minimize the harms.
We have to do this systematically, collaborative in a coordinated way. We need to call for regional collaboration on regulatory sandboxes for digital. Each country is dealing with their own election cycles but if we have regional sandboxes this effort can continue to do these labs even as different elected officials move through.
So -- we must do this with participation by all, using technology like conversational AI, not to automate existing jobs, but to do the jobs that have never been done that need to be done to get direct, real time feedback from the people to that we can continually improve our designs, our processes, our policies and our regulations. This is what the tech companies are doing. They are doing it at speed and scale and we must do it for our policies and regulations. Only then can we make sure that digital innovation is for the people, by the people, and with the people. Only then can we assure equal opportunity for prosperity for future generations. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you so much, Mei-Lin. We are running out of time. I will quickly go through the presentation and it will be available online. Those who want the presentation can also right to us at which is which is -- in know at the (?) and could you please put the presentation online and then we will open up the floor for 15 minutes. So very quickly, so colleagues this is knot working.
Next slide, please. Yes. So we bring to the WSIS process timeline now the new stakeholders here I can see many new faces. We started in 1998 with the conference in Minneapolis. And then it resulted in the UN general assembly resolution in 2001 which tasks the UN to have a summit if two phases with Doreen and Mr. JElasse was talking about. In 2000 held in Geneva and in 2003 and in (?) N.60 taboogy, when it was adopted 2003 started aligning the WSIS process with the sustainable development goal.
Next slide, please. And we have a planning it is called a WSIS SDG metrics which is available online. UN agents involved like (?) and ITU and UNESCO, we have all worked tooth to map and show how different action lines connected to the SDGs. Next slide, please. Next slide. Next slide. Doreen already mentioned this.
Splices mark 13-17 march on your calendars and at the request of stakeholders we will continue the virtual component in April and May. 13-17 a hybrid model in Geneva. As you know, next slide, the agenda and the program of the WSIS forum is built to an open consolidated process. Our first meeting the second meeting L. be on 13 January. Hybrid again. Geneva physical and with virtual participation. Next slide, please. And it is a very simple way to input your submission. Goon line. Create your account and submit your official input toless process. Fleck slide, please. We will have a high level track. Our Chaim will change in duringed WSIS forum. We will have high level policy sessions, ministry round table and high level dialogues and things (?) round table that we started last year. Have high level meeting with parliamentarians and we hope that all of the parliamentarians present here will be working with us because at present we really need your ideas and guidancance as to what we can could for an impact. Next slide, please.
We do have several special tracks. I think the next slide covers that on gender, youth, ICTs and older persons and ICTs and LDCs and indigenes languages. We have a special prize as well on Indigenous languages as well in 2023. Michael Hodin spoke about the prize special prize on older persons and we are doing a lot of work on clean Dell Technologies we will be working with you on that as well. So colleagues, I think I will stop here because we really want to listen from you. We will leave the presentation with the IGF Secretariat so you request go he G. fretth them and also from (?). So thank you so much. And the floor is open. Do we see any hands raised? We are -- okay. Yes, please, do introduce yourself first.
>> AUDIENCE: Thank you very much. My name Wisdom Donkor and I'm from Ghana. I have a few things to share. The first one is having looking at Africa, and the issues that we have, the first issue that I would say relies on the ability of data.
So if some amount of efforts can go into addressing the digital gaps that we have in Africa that would go a long way to help us.
The other issue that I think is also of importance is spectrum allocation. It looks like the spectrum allocation that we have in this continent mostly favors the big companies or the big telcos. And they are leaving out the smaller ones example. We have several nongovernment organizations that want to go into the rural communities and help them solve their problems.
In terms of connectivity issues. But then getting some of those spectrum allocations is difficult. And we all flow that the big companies don't find it profitable going into the rural communities and most times in other space so we need to look on that and see how to help the rural communities. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you. Any more raised hands, please?
>> AUDIENCE: I'm currently serving as the president of Tanzania chapter, internet society chapter and also the project manager for the Tanzania digital inclusion program.
If the -- I think WSIS to say a trend setter, if you were to call me a trend setter, well I'm a trend setter in connectivity.
And one of the item that I believe should come to the forum are the use cases on the ground. If the connectivity is a challenge, I mean what is happening in countries on the ground? And I'm saying this because if you get a use case, a good use case of connectivity, from Ghana, for instance, or from Georgia, if it's easier to adopt -- it is easier to adopt and to adapt what has been done on the ground. For example, in Tanzania what we have been able to achieve in internet connecting schools and health centers. And I think for the first time the local police station to a broadband internet through a community organized digital innovation hub. So my suggestion or my submission would be to have all these use cases from around the world to enslur that they come and exhibit or dem man straight what they are -- demonstrate what they are doing an the ground and what is working. If we are talking about connecting rural people including all schools from the global digital compact, we need to see those organizations or individuals that are walking the talk.
So others can also be able to take from the forum to implement in their own countries. Thank you also for allowing me to participate in a high track level session last year and it was wonderful and I got a lot of e-mails and some people, are actually implementing what we are doing in Tanzania. Thank you so much.
>> MODERATOR: It was our pleasure. I see that Nigel raised his hand and then excellency from Ghana and then we need to give a chance to the online participants as well.Ify gearia. Sorry, Nigel over to you.
>> AUDIENCE: Thank you very much. Sir? Nigel Hickson from the UK government.
Yeah. The red light is on. Yeah. It might be part of the aging process. But no. Very briefly, first of all, thank you so much for hosting this session.
The commitment of the UK to the WSIS process and to the WSIS forum I think is something that you know the inspiring speeches that we have heard this morning is based on. I mean the WSIS forum has shown the WSIS process has shown how stakeholders can come together to try and solve issues, too understand each other, to share experiences, to share concerns, to share joy, to share achievements. And it's testament to the ITU and to colleagues, their colleagues in UNCTAD and UNESCO and other agencies that we are able to do the WSIS forum every year and we should be grateful for that. The UK is committed to the process and we will be supporting, we will be supporting financially next year and we are committed to the process and hopefully we'll have our minister being able to take part next year. And I think, you know, to -- just to finish, as we go towards the renewal if you like or to the debate at the UNGA on the WSIS process in itself, I think we need to show as we do in the WSIS forum that all stakeholders that this is so important that stakeholders have a forum to come together to talk about how we are doing on the action lines. Perhaps in 2025 we might be able to adopt more ambitious lines.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you for the UK support to the WSIS process. Yes, please, sir, go ahead.
>> AUDIENCE: Thank you very much. I'm honorable sam George from Ghana. And I'm excited to see the presentation you just showed that had the high level session for parliamentarians because only the WSIS website it didn't have parliamentarians was a as part of the high level track and that service a problem because when I look at the lines and this is from someone that served in government and then -- there is the actor -- we use the infrastructure to win elections but the practical effect on the people can only be done through parliament. Sevenning in the executive what I looked at WSIS action lines I looked at how many communities could have a project that could connect to connective. I didn't care whether those in the communities could afford the connectivity that they gave because in the next election calendar we can say we connected 300 communities. So the ministers come to the WSIS meeting and say we are doing well. Now as an MP who represents an actual constituency I'm not just interested in how -- (audio echo).
>> Thank you. Now that I have an actual constituency that elects me and I answer to, and not sitting there by visit aah of appointment by a president I'm I. I'm worried about my constituents being able to actually afford the connectivity and that is where the real impact of what WSIS action lines will be. I'm happy that we will see the parliamentarians take part in the high level sessions to then begin to add impetus to the WSIS meetings don't just become talk shops where the ministers come and sit in the high level sessions and sign up to things but the realism pact are not felt on the don't intercept. Thank you and kudos for you to adding the parliamentarian track.
>> The reason you don't see it there is because we are still developing what we should be doing in the track so all of the comments are very useful and we will probably have another meeting to coordinate better. Thank you. We will take some online questions. Colleagues we do have the room there so those who have time can stay with us. But those who have to leave we willy under stand. Online ambassador, our partner from the Geneva cities hub and inducedless playors component. Over to you to make an intervention.
>> AUDIENCE: Thankoff very much. Good afternoon, good morning, good afternoon. Depending on where you are. I'm from the Geneva cities hub and we had the pleasure and honor to work with the WSIS forum last year to launch the participation of local and regional governments and participation of mayors at the WSIS forum. We are happy to continue this collaboration because we believe that this initiative on behalf of WSIS to include the constituency is very important and in line with our common agenda launched by the UN secretary general where we really acknowledge the importance of a broad base of a real multi-stakeholder approach which was always a signature of the WSIS project. Next year we also plan to involve mayors from all regions of the globe. Urbanization is a very important challenge and as we saw with the sustainable development goals we can only reach result if we localize our impact.
And this is the same I believe with the WSIS actionlines in harmony of the Sustainable Development Goals that we have to involve those actors who are closest to the citizens in that case the mayors and local authorities and with them together similarly to parliamentarians we just heard with the mayors together we can have a real impact on the ground.
So once again, thank you for the possibility to collaborate. We are looking forward to it. And we are very happy to be a partner of the WSIS project. Thank you very much.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you, ambassador. We look forward to working towards a good engagement also linking it with smart cities, the work that U.T is also doing actively. Thank you so much. We would now like to move on to professor Minkin also online. Over to you.
>> AUDIENCE: Can you hear me?
>> MODERATOR: We can hear you clearly.
>> Good afternoon, dear colleague. Congratulation you with IGF and the first open consultation for preparation for WSIS forum. WSIS forum as many people already stress is multi-stakeholder platform for discussing all item and especially concerning the (?). I participated both of them. And WSIS forum give chance for us to start in preparation for 2025 because 23 and 24 WSIS forums is practically 20 years after the Geneva phase. And we should look how we -- we should estimate how they reach edge lines globally and regionally and what are their success and where we have challenges and how to strengthen and to help achieving after 2030. It means WSIS may be necessary to prolong for them but it is for discuss in 2025 and, of course, I fully support Nigel that we should be ready for considering what should the issues beyond 2025. What will the new challenges based on new technology and new surrounding and so on. Thank you very much. I wish you success.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much. I see a hand is raised virtually and physically. Over to you, sir.
>> AUDIENCE: Thank you. Sorry, the short note is actually listed to John Paul on the academic. I see that we have lots of high levels but a few of the academics are underrepresented as being professor at the University of Oslo and thus a number of the European research intensive university alliance called the guild where we have an agreement with the African research University alliances. I would think that that is a perfect starting point for getting the competence building at the universities better out and together with Neema we have built regional competence centers for involving students from connecting schools and communities and that example has resulted that some of the students with the practical experiences found immediately their place in business where exactly these practical skill is are connecting the last mile and connecting the future were addressed. So we can follow up later on.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you so much. I think you also attended the academia round table we had at WSIS forum and we plan to continue that and look forward to your support on how to continue with it. So thank you.
I think Vladimir if you could help us with virtual participants there online.
>> VLADIMIR STANKOVIC: Thank you and hell throw everyone. Before I report on some chat questions information shared I would like to invite Elliott who also raised his hand to take the floor.
>> AUDIENCE: Thank you very much. So I just have ooh quick comment with I is that despite today's amazing ICTs too many people in harm's way still do not get timely and effective emergency alerts. This is especially the case in developing countries. Sadly these, of course, are the most vulnerable. So an action plan has been put together for that in the next five years to get early warnings to all. This is from the UN secretary general announced in march. Now his focus was on weather because of the climate crisis ongoing but we should be talking about all hazards and this should be all.
I mean analog over the air, broadcast radio and television are still very prominent, all ICTs, digital and analog. Thank you. In the chat I put some more on the topic.
>> VLADIMIR STANKOVIC: Thank you very much. There are other questions raised in the chat requiring, you know, more information on the open process. I would like to inform everyone that the presentation that was shared an the recording will also be uploaded on the WSIS forum website on the dedicated page to the open consultation process. And the other calls and deadlines are available on WSIS website. The prizes is ongentlemanning call and dead Layne is 7 December. Take your time to promote the opportunity and submit your projects. Band wester a hand raised back to Michael Hodin.
>> MICHAEL HODIN: Yes, thank you. I just wanted to-point out the reference to the mayors platform might be very interestingly linked with the age friendly cities work under the decade of healthy aging and maybe we do something in 2023 with the older persons track and the mayors through the age friendly cities work. Which we, of course, covered at our silver economy forum two weeks ago. That is a new and interesting idea that perhaps comes out of the today's interaction.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you, Mike. Thank you, Vladimir. We need to vacate the room but we have two more people here. Over to you.
>> AUDIENCE: Thank you very much. I'm (?) for radio and publication. We have been involved from the (?) process since 2000 and implementing and contributing to the WSIS actualline so we want to see in here as the (?) organization. And as a result we received eight times the prizes as the winner and also -- my question is UN secretary general frommed community what is our (?) to adopt to the developing digital compact. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Yes, sir, over to you at the end there.
>> AUDIENCE: Yeah, Thank you so much. I usually don't raise my hand. I'm very shy in this case. My name is (?) and I'm from Afghanistan. I think I'm the only one person from Afghanistan participating in the IGF 2022. Thank you so much. Now my question is now that Afghanistan is almost isolated from the international community from the globe, and also most of the stakeholders, the participants, organizers with the WSIS are very high rank officials in peace, now like as individuals from Afghanistan how can we take part and also can be involved with WSIS in 2023. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you, sir. All activities at the WSIS process virtual and physical are open and free of cost. So anyone can participate, have a workshop or exhibition space. So we can be in touch if you can -- I'm circulating a paper around very old school so if you could please put your e-mail there and I will be if touch with you. Over to you, sir.
>> AUDIENCE: (?). Now do you understand that. Now so I'm the founder of Africa (?). In order to have local impact, we need to start talking about language barriers. Now do you understand please now so I speak in my dialect so we don't understand. Now let's go bookback to the local community. Deathy understand English? Most of the languages that we communicate they don't understand.
So how do we address that? We are talking about affordability. We are talking about connectivity. That is not enough. How do we translate these. How do WSIS help African community. How do we ensure that they understand they participate at the table. How do we ensure sure that we take the local content and have local impact in the communities. So thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you. That's a very important point. Fortunately, we still have Dr. Jelassi with us, UNESCO.
>> TAWIK JELASSI: I made the importance of making cyberspace as multi-lingual as possible and mentioned the work that UNESCO has been doing for the linguistic diversity and multi-lingualism and cyberspace and what we as one organization at the UN has been getting out. But, of course, we need collective efforts by all including other UN agencies an ITU and (?) your point it well taken. And I think you made it very clear we you started your intervention speaking the language that many of us did not understand. This is the case from cyberspace. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you so much, and many of you have this question what is the deadline for binding deadline for requesting for workshops. It is first of February. We will not accept any requests after first because the Secretariat needs to consolidate and give all of you an opportunity. Please sub politic them today as soon as possible. Madam, please, the floor is yours, yes.
>> AUDIENCE: Yeah, thank you, everyone. My name is (?) from Gambia coordinator and also executive member of the internet society. Basically looking at the chat that has already been mentioned here I think really talking of internet and connectivity is fund mantel human rights now. I'm glad the agenda perspective has been addressed and then I saw a lot of work being done and hoping to continue. But also looking at kindly liveness. People differently able to can we have a tract on that. If not we knead to look into it. Because if you look here, so few people with differently able but I think the participation is lacking and I think they are also parts of our society and we need to think of and have a special track on that so they can at least not only connect but meaningful connection for people with differently able.
>> MODERATOR: We do have a a track on persons with special needs. However, for some reason we lack committed partners to join us to organized track every year. Leave your e-mail on that piece of paper and we will make sure that we get in touch with you as well to continue the track. I think yes, sir, you wanted to -- ma'am, sorry. I could not see you from there Kenya. Over to you.
>> AUDIENCE: Thank you very much. I'm excited to be here and really appreciate you coordinating this very important session. My name Caroline from the communications authority of Kenya. In terms of call for input its moo the discussions that may go into next year's WSIS we are interested from three areas. One, it is notable that the digital regulatory or regulation handbook developed by the World Bank and the ITU really bring out consumer affairs issues matters that are much importance within the digital economy and as such would like to propose there is an inclusion of consumer protection issues and specifically leveraging behavioral science in building or informing policy around consumer protection. This would essentially drive having a more meaningful and more enriched experience for consumers that are now using technology in all aspects of their lives. Secondly, it is notable that we are now in the digital economy there is a lot that is going on there. We are connecting everyone and everything and as such consumer empowerment is very important he believe the development of tools that would empower consume others is very important seeing that we would not necessarily maybe as a regulator be present in all areas and as such would be able to empower citizenry so that they could make important purchase and use decisions. Thirdly there is ain' issue that is 80s the helm of the leadership the created economy and as a country o it would be desirable to see how technology linked -- the linkages between technologied creative economy can spur growth offed economy with the view to determining what kind of case studies are there, and what are the experiences from other countries.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much. We have noted all of these. Also please do remember to go online and submit your official input. Only then your submission will be considered as an official input. Go on line to the website to the open consolidation process. There is a form. Bill it out and submit to the secretary. If there are no more interventions we can close the floor. Yes, ma'am, over to you. Please do write your e-mail on the piece of paper or give me your card and I will make sure that you get the presentation. Thank you. We still have John Paul with us. If you want to -- jean Paul with us if you want to say a few closing remarks and then we need to move.
>> JEAN-PAUL ADAM: Thank you very much and thank you everyone for sticking around. I'm -- I have endurance so I'm still here.
A few responses first the questions I think on the academic networks so ECA does have certain entry points. But I think the idea is look more systematically on the WSIS process how we could engage but I take the opportunity to invite you all particularly in academia to attend the African science technology and innovation forum on the 27th of February in Niger and this is part and a lot of the academia comes through that forum. For camp, at the last forum we launched the alliance of entrepreneurial universities particularly aiming to support the universities using the digital technologies to empower young entrepreneurs across the country and review of click la. And technology specific only but there is a big aspect of technology in there. The regional -- the African regional center on artificial intelligence is designed to connect universities across the continent based around the use of artificial intelligence in a number of fields. We encouraged them to look at climate change but they will be looking at other fields as well. And the (?) shortly to be set up a (?) will also as it will work to popularize the model of cybersecurity that we have developed and which will be presented at 3:00 p.m. today. At IGF. But iting also aim to encourage academic research intoed use of cybersecurity. So these are some elements which are subject specific but there are a number of other initiatives that I think can be encouraged within the WSIS process. On the -- if I could briefly cover the aspect of access and voice.
I think it would be remiss not to mention a fantasy African innovation. There is a -- an application in Mali with which uses voice related artificial intelligence to allow non-illiterate persons and persons literally impaired to use the internet. Partner of the WSIS process we can use the best practice and the gentleman plaid the software for this free and it is available and can be replicate florida other African countries and these are the kind of initiatives we showcase at the science technology and information forum. So again I would recommend everyone to register and attend. An then just to summarize and thank everyone, I think there are many things happening actually on the African continent. We do sometimes have the risk of fragmentation and dupe placation. The idea of WSIS is to try and reduce that and I think that is where it is useful and we bring the ideas on the Internet Governance Forum and encourage everyone with idea tosspots that into the process online which then allows us the process forfollow-up and continuation. So maybe I will stop there. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you so much. We would like to thank the nearly 70 participants with us and virtually over a hundred joining us. So thank you so much. A big round of applause for virtual participants. Thank you so much. We missed you here, but thank you for joining us. The technical team in there who was really helped us with the video presentations and everything. Thank you so much. And the ushers and our generation connect youth delegate. Can you introduce yourself, please.
>> Thank you. I'm (?) from Congo, a member of generation connect youth initiative of the ITU. Thank you.