A High-Level meeting on the review of the 10-year implementation of the decisions of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) was held on 15th and 16th December at the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York.
The Polish delegation, led by Witold Kołodziejski, Secretary of State in the Ministry of Digitization included also Magdalena Gaj, the President of the Office of Electronic Communications (UKE), representatives of the Ministry and UKE and representatives of the Polish Permanent Representation to the UN lead by Ambassador Bogusław Winid.
WSIS is a process that was defined during two international UN conferences on the Information Society (2003 – Geneva and 2005 – Tunis). They aimed to formulate a plan to increase access to information and communication technologies (ICT) in order to bridge the so-called digital divide between developed and developing countries – a barrier in access to the Internet and modern technology.
Poland has always actively participated in the implementation of WSIS decisions. Each year during the WSIS Forum organised by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) together with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Poland organises national workshops, presenting projects implemented in the area of Information Society.
The President of UKE, as the Chairperson of this year’s WSIS Forum, was a panellist during two events of the High-Level meeting organised by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU): Strengthening the Impact of the WSIS Action Lines for Sustainable Development on 14th December and Enabling a Trusted Connected World, which took place on 16th December. President Gaj in both speeches drew attention to the importance of information and communication technology in building an inclusive Information Society. She especially underlined the importance of preventing digital exclusion, inequality between men and women in access to modern technology as well as the need to use ICT to restore normal life of persons with disabilities.
On 14th December, during the panel Strengthening the Impact of WSIS Action Lines for Sustainable Development, President Gaj accepted the honorary title awarded to Poland by the Secretary General of the ITU Mr Houlin Zhao, for special contribution and Poland’s commitment to the implementation of the decisions of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS).
The High-Level meeting ended with the acceptance of the final review of the WSIS+10, negotiated for the last weeks in New York. It summarised the past decade of the development of the global Information Society and indicated new challenges for the subsequent ten years.