Text proposed for addition to the draft Conference Outcome Declaration of the 65th Annual UN DPI/NGO Conference on 27-29 August 2014, under the heading “Role of Information and Communication Technologies and Broadband in Development”:
ICTs and the Internet have facilitated profound benefits in economic and social development, and can continue to do so. The reviews in 2015 of both the MDGs and the World Summit for the Information Society (“WSIS”) create a unique opportunity to further mainstream ICTs in the delivery on the MDGs/SDGs in the next decade.
In order for all to benefit from ICTs, they must have affordable access to them and free public access must be available through libraries or community information centres. Ensuring that the digital divide is addressed is a challenge that requires the active engagement of all stakeholders. That is why democratic multi-stakeholder decision-making that ensures the meaningful, accountable, and equitable participation of all stakeholders is critical to meeting the goals of WSIS and leveraging technology to deliver on the broader sustainable development agenda.
A healthy ICT ecosystem must be grounded in justice and human dignity, including the full recognition of human rights and their application equally online and offline as recognised, inter alia, in General Comment 34 to the ICCPR and Human Rights Council Resolutions A/HRC/20/8 and A/HRC/26/L.24, and UN General Assembly Resolutions 68/167, 68/198 and 68/243.
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