Statement by Cheryl Saban, Senior Advisor, U.S. Delegation for UN General Assembly Second Committee Resolution on ICTs for Development

Cheryl Saban, Senior Advisor, U.S. Delegation
New York, NY
November 12, 2012


Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

The United States appreciates the steps that have been taken, both within and outside the UN system, to follow through on commitments made at the World Summit on the Information Society to make available the benefits of new technologies, especially information and communications technologies, to bridge the digital divide.

Distributed systems like the Internet require distributed action, and no single institution, document, arrangement, or instrument can suffice in addressing the needs of our networked world.

We are committed to continuing the multi-institutional process of enhanced cooperation on international Internet public policy issues, with equal participation of all Internet stakeholders. We appreciated very much the work of ECOSOC’s Commission for Science and Technology for Development in hosting a one-day meeting on enhanced cooperation last May, and wanted to express our gratitude to the Commission’s Chair, Mr. Fortunato de la Peña of the Philippines, for his role and the resulting balanced report.

Mr. Chairman,

With respect to UN General Assembly’s need to decide the modalities for conducting a 10-year, UN-system wide review of the outcomes of World Summit on the Information Society, we would note that the World Summit’s Outcome Document, “The Tunis Agenda,” requests that ECOSOC, drawing on support from the Commission on Science and Technology for Development, play a coordinating role in World Summit follow-up.

The Tunis Agenda also calls upon every UN agency with a World Summit “Action Line” to report to ECOSOC on progress. Modalities set forth in the Tunis Agenda lay out a multi-stakeholder review process to be coordinated by ECOSOC and takes into account the expertise of all contributing UN agencies.

UNESCO and the International Telecommunications Union have already initiated the World Summit plus 10 review processes by adopting parallel resolutions to host review meetings using extra-budgetary funds. UNESCO's meeting will occur in Paris in April of 2013, and ITU's will occur in the fall of 2014, at a location to be determined.

We hope that all other UN agencies with World Summit Action Lines will conduct similar reviews, using appropriate means and according to their designated mandates and competences set out in the Tunis Agenda, then report their findings in writing to ECOSOC by February 2015, for compilation into a final report for the General Assembly.

Thank you.


PRN: 2012/254