Thank you, Chair for this opportunity to provide comments to this Session of the 2011 ECOSOC on behalf of the International Chamber of Commerce.
ICC is the largest, most representative business organization in the world. Its thousands of member companies and associations in over 120 countries have interests spanning every sector of private and commercial enterprise.
As this is the first comment made by the ICC, we take this opportunity to extend our deep sympathy to the citizens of Norway, and in particular to the victims and their families, in light of the tragic events of the past week end.
Following the Tunis phase of the World Summit, ECOSOC expanded CSTD's mandate, agenda, and composition as called for in the Tunis Agenda.
Each year since, CSTD has reviewed progress on outcomes of WSIS, provided draft Resolutions and reports to ECOSOC, and welcomed business, civil society and technical community's participation. Business values the opportunity to participate in the CSTD and its important work on science, technology development, and has joined the CSTD in each of its substantive sessions since.
We fully support the draft decisions that would extend the participation of business, including the private sector, technical community, non governmental and civil society entities in the work of the CSTD until 2015, and look forward to continuing to participate in the CSTD's important work in science and technology development, and innovation - topics very near and dear to the business sector worldwide. We also support the two resolutions developed in connection with the 14th CSTD meeting in May, 2011.
As many members are aware from their participation in the WSIS process, the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) was born out of discussions and debates during both phases of the WSIS. In its first five years, the IGF was hosted by Greece, Brazil, India, Egypt, and Lithuania. Business notes with great appreciation the contribution made by these countries in their hosting roles to the IGF and their commitment to multistakeholder participation in Internet Governance. And, we note also the participation of many more countries that have embraced the IGF's value and are contributing, along with other stakeholders, to the IGF.
Business also looks forward to the IGF in Kenya.
The IGF has proven itself to be unique and a valuable contribution to the organizations and entities that are discussing and addressing Internet issues and topics of interest to all - governments, IGOs, the technical community, business, and civil society and NGOs.
Business believes that the IGF is one of the most effective and useful outcomes of the WSIS. The IGF inspires all of us to work toward people centered development - a key goal of the WSIS. It promotes a deepened understanding on Internet policy issues, while also stimulating engagement in communities, in countries, and in all regions.
Business strongly supports the continuation of the CSTD Working group on improvements to the IGF with its present composition and inclusiveness of stakeholders. We also support its founding mandate of maintaining the IGF's current multistakeholder format and operating under its founding principles.
ICC BASIS and other private sector entities contributed to the UN consultation held on December 14, 2010, in New York, regarding Enhanced Cooperation. We believe that Enhanced Cooperation should continue in its present interactions, and note that the Tunis Agenda provides that "all stakeholders" should be involved in the Enhanced Cooperation process. Government cooperation is one example of enhanced cooperation. Review of this report by CSTD in May of 2012 would be productive.
During the CSTD meeting in May, we were impressed by the excellent reports regarding the role of ICTs and Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) in development goals.
While noting ongoing growth and increased availability of ICTs, business recognizes that much more remains to be done by all parties. Business agrees that the kind of information sharing, collaboration and exchange of experiences emerging from the IGF and other endeavors involving multi stakeholders can contribute to the development of policies and practices that will enable more countries and people to benefit from ICTs and the Internet.
Business looks forward to continuing to work with other stakeholders to ensure a more inclusive, development‐oriented, and people‐centric Information Society, and to our continued collaboration within CSTD and ECOSOC.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.