The EU and its Member States are pleased to join consensus on the draft resolution A/C.2/67/L.61 entitled “Information and communications technologies for development”.
We would like to express our sincere gratitude to the facilitator, Ms. Agnieszka Klausa of Poland, for her able guidance of our consultations, as well as to all Member States for their constructive engagement, particularly the negotiator for the G77, Mr. Hussein Elshaar of Egypt.
The evolution of information and communication technologies and the Internet as drivers of innovation, economic growth and social well-being continue to present new opportunities for the international community as we seek to build an inclusive Information Society and achieve the internationally agreed development goals. People’s access to the Internet is an indispensable platform for development.
The forthcoming review of the implementation of the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society since 2005 will therefore be an important step and we call on all stakeholders to contribute actively to the events relating to the review over the next two years.
We take this opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to the multi-stakeholder model of Internet governance, ensuring accountability, transparency and independence from special interests, and our support for the Internet Governance Forum. We believe the IGF has continued to improve and build on success in bringing together representatives of business, civil society, governments, international organisations, parliamentarians, the technical community and academic experts, to exchange views and best practice on all issues relating to the development of the Internet, its contribution to the global economy, freedom of expression and social well-being.
We also welcome the invitation contained in this resolution to the chair of the Commission on Science and Technology for Development to convene a working group on Enhanced Cooperation with the aim of compiling information relating to cooperation initiatives from all parts of the international community. By ensuring a balanced participation of all relevant stakeholders, we hope this working group will help to clarify our collective understanding of enhanced cooperation in practice and in this way inform the overall WSIS review process. We look forward to engaging actively in this working group.
Earlier this year the United Nations Human Rights Council, in its resolution 20/8, affirmed that human rights also extend to the Internet. It recognizes that the Internet is a driving force in accelerating progress towards development in its various forms, and affirms that the same rights that people have offline must also be protected online. The resolution was adopted by consensus, displaying a universal acceptance of these central principles. We deeply regret that such a reference was not included in the present resolution. We are committed to continue to emphasise the importance of protecting human rights online, including in the context of ICT for development.
I thank you.