STATEMENT DELIVERED ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MINISTER CLAUDIO ROSSELL, DEPUTY PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE PLURINATIONAL STATE OF BOLIVIA TO THE UNITED NATIONS, IN THE FIRST INFORMAL CONSULTATIONS ON THE MODALITIES FOR THE OVERALL REVIEW OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE OUTCOMES OF THE WSIS (New York, 26 February 2014)
I take the floor to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
At the outset, we want to thank you for convening this first informal to discuss this very important issue.
In October 2013, the Group of 77 and China reaffirmed the General Assembly's role in the overall review of the implementation of the WSIS outcomes, and urged it to agree on modalities for the WSIS+10 review during the current session of the General Assembly. We believe that the ten-year review of WSIS outcomes, along the review of the MDGs, is a timely exercise in the context of elaborating the post-2015 development agenda. We believe a digital economy is a source of innovation and productivity improvements for all countries. It is therefore critically important to address the continuing gap in digital divide and broadband access between developed and developing countries, as well as within societies, particularly in the availability, affordability, quality of access, and broadband connectivity.
The Group of 77 and China acknowledges that Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) are critical enablers of economic development and investment, with consequential benefits for employment and social welfare. However, despite the positive trends in connectivity and affordability, including increased Internet access, rapid diffusion of mobile communication and development of new services and applications since the holding of the WSIS a decade ago, the Group is concerned about the fact that this developments have also lead to the increase of cyber-crime as well as threats for national security and intellectual property, this issues have to be considered in the review.
Also, the review must take into account the call made in the Tunis Agenda, Paragraphs 69 to 71, "recognizing the need for enhanced cooperation, to enable governments on an equal footing" and asking the UN Secretary General to start a process of enhanced cooperation by end of first quarter of 2006, besides the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), which is a multistakeholder body. This specific mandate, involving "governments of member states on equal footing" is extremely important, as this would be crucial in determining the public policy on Internet Governance; therefore the G77 endorses the "enhanced cooperation" recommendation of the Tunis Agenda and calls for its effective implementation.
As requested in paragraph 111 of the Tunis Agenda, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has to make an overall review of the implementation of WSIS outcomes in 2015. The Group of 77 and China firmly believes that this process should be universal and transparent with the participation of all States to ensure wide stakeholder participation, and under the rules of the General Assembly.
Finally, given the importance of these and other critical issues that are part of the Tunis Agenda to be reviewed, the G77 and China has advocated convening of a Summit level interaction and let our leaders at the highest levels decide on this Review.
I thank you.