Full Text of India’s statement at the 1st Preparatory Meeting for UNGA’s overall review of the implementation of the WSIS Outcomes

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Thank you distinguished co-facilitators for giving me the floor and the opportunity to speak on behalf of my country. We would like to place on record our sincerest appreciation to both the co-facilitators for their abled stewardship of this process and for the well-crafted roadmap that has been placed before us.

At the outset my delegation would like to align itself with the statement delivered by the distinguished representative of South Africa on behalf of the Group of 77 (G77) and China. In identifying areas of cooperation in the WSIS+10 Review Process we should keep the modalities resolutioned as contingent of the Tunis Agenda to utilize ICTs for development and for the benefit of the developing countries. We need to take stock of the implementation of the WSIS action lines in the Tunis Agenda, review the existing mechanisms and update them and provide the necessary course correction to make them relevant for the challenges in the 21st century.

Second, we need to explicitly recognize the lack of follow up on the funding mechanism for the ICTs to implement the Tunis Agenda. There is a need to address capacity building and transfer of technology in keeping with the yet unfulfilled mandate outlined in para 9 of the Tunis Agenda.

Third, the stark gap in the digital divide between the developed and developing world needs to receive our attention. Despite significant advances, 50% of the world’s population, mostly from developing and the least developed countries continues to be denied access to ICTs. The growing gender digital divide, which has become even more sharp and acute in recent years is a related area of concern and needs to be specially factored into the review agenda. There is also a need to go beyond access issues and focus of affordability and multilingualism for inclusive growth and development. The formal launch of the Digital India programme earlier today by the Prime Minister of India seeks to address these and other issues related to digital empowerment of India’s citizens.

Fourth, on the issue of Internet governance it is imperative to acknowledge the platform of the Internet as a global public good where all stakeholders have an equal stake in its functioning and efficiency. India would like to affirm and renew its commitment to the multistakeholder processes. My delegation welcomes the participation of all the relevant WSIS stakeholders in the review process and looks forward to incorporating their inputs to make the IGF more broad based and globalized. At the same time we also think that enlisting and encouraging participation from the developing world in these processes needs particular attention.

Fifth, the mandate of para 69 of the Tunis agenda which had called for the process of enhanced cooperation remains as yet unfulfilled and needs our special consideration. In this context India specially recognizes the need for identifying issues, which have a direct impact on national security and call for enhanced role for governments in dealing with such issues.

Sixth, we need to recognize the need to build a common understanding on the applicability of international rights and norms particularly the freedom of expressioned activities in cyberspace. To ensure better protection of all citizens in the online environment and strike and ideal balance between national security and internationally recognized human rights and to create frameworks so that internet surveillance practices motivated by security concerns are conducted with a truly transparent and accountable framework. Further my government would also like to express a strong affirmation of the principles of net neutrality.

And finally we must keep in mind that our work is taking place in the 70th anniversary year of the United Nations. In this historical year we are also seeking to conclude the post 2015 development agenda and to hold the financing for development conference and the COP 21 meeting on climate change. We need to acknowledge the synergy and inter linkages between the WSIS+10 Review and these three major meetings of the UN system in 2015 and reflect them appropriately in our outcome document.

Co-facilitator madam and sir, our engagement at the WSIS+10 process stems from our deep and substantive understanding of the need to make ICTs truly relevant for the benefit of the entire planet and not just privileged few. Please rest assured of our fullest cooperation and steadfast support in helping you drive this process to its successful conclusion.

Thank you.

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