IFIP Plays Active Role at WSIS 2023

Once again, IFIP was a supporting partner at the World Summit for the Information Society (WSIS) Forum 2023 from 13-17 March, presenting at several events. Recordings are available for all sessions, as detailed below.

On Monday 13 March, IP3 Chair Moira de Roche attended the attended Exhibition Inauguration, where she had the opportunity to meet the ITU Secretary General Doreen Bogdan-Martin, pictured below.

Moira also joined the UN Global Digital Compact Roundtable discussion. The UN Secretary-General’s “Our Common Agenda” report proposed a Global Digital Compact to be agreed at the Summit of the Future in September 2024 through a technology track involving all stakeholders: governments, the United Nations system, the private sector (including technology companies), civil society, grass-roots organisations, academia and individuals, including youth. The Global Digital Compact is expected to “outline shared principles for an open, free, and secure digital future for all”. The Common Agenda report suggests issues that it might cover, including digital connectivity, avoiding Internet fragmentation, providing people with options as to how their data is used, application of human rights online, and promoting a trustworthy Internet by introducing accountability criteria for discrimination and misleading content. 
The discussions at WSIS Forum covered a range of issues including: 

  • Informal discussions to gather opinions from different stakeholders on the six topics for the Deep-Dives of the Global Digital Compact
  • How can the UN-system create added value in the area of digital?
  • How you see your role in contributing to harnessing the power of the digitalisation as an enabler for the SDGs?

On Tuesday 14 March, Moira attended the WSIS Opening Ceremony, which included an opening video statement from UN Secretary Antonio Gutteres (pictured below).

The newly appointed ITU Secretary General Doreen Bogdan-Martin and other UN agency heads also delivered their opening statements. Moira, also attended the Official Reception hosted by Switzerland to receive IFIP’s Certificate of Support from Ms Bogdan-Martin,

On Wednesday 15 March, Moira delivered a policy statement on behalf of IFIP at the High-Level Policy Session 7:  Ethical Dimensions of Information and Knowledge Societies / Bridging Digital Divides. First, she addressed the issues around Ethics, especially with the advent of Generative AI, before taking the opportunity to announce the project, “Sustaining relevant digital inclusive education for young people (5-18 years of age)”, led by Professor Don Passey, Chair of Technical Committee 3 – Computers in Education; and to garner interest for the workshop on this scheduled for Thursday.

Moira was also Invited to join the panel for the “High-Level Dialogue: Implementation of the UNESCO Open Educational Resources (OER) Recommendation” to address technology enablers for OER. The discussions centered on how the Recommendation can guide the crucial digital ecosystems needed for the establishment and maintenance of free, high quality open educational resources and platforms. OER are recognised as powerful solutions for transforming education, since they enable the expansion of access to quality, innovative, free, accessible educational resources in different languages, for teachers and learners. To achieve this objective, it is vital to put in place robust mechanisms for OER capacity building, policy development, quality assurance, accessibility and sustainability for educational stakeholders.

The session emphasised the need to leverage the UNESCO OER Recommendation 2019 to build stakeholder capacity and the necessity to develop and implement supportive policies at governmental and institutional levels. This is a solution, a way to ensure that the innovation and creation, access, reuse, repurposing, adaptation, redistribution, preservation and quality assurance of OER and open digital platforms works.

Moira also attended a high-level lunch and had the privilege to be joined at the table by the new ITU Deputy Secretary General, Tomas Lamasnauskas. This provided an opportunity to familiarise him with the vision of IFIP. We are already well-known to the Secretary General.

On Thursday 16 March, Professor Don Passey presented the workshop, “Sustaining relevant digital inclusive education for young people (5-18 years of age)”. This session formally launched the project and explained the purpose. Don was there in person and was joined (remotely or by pre-recorded video) by Greg Lane (CIPS), Admire Gwanzura (IITPSA), Jo Dalvean (ACS) and Prof Luís Manuel Dias Coelho Soares Barbosa (UN University, Portugal). Moira de Roche and Anthony Wong attended this workshop.

Later, Moira attended the UNESCO led session, Applying Internet Universality ROAM-X framework for WSIS+20 review and Global Digital Compact, before moderating the IP3 workshop, “Generative AI and the Information Society. This session included the following speakers:

  • Robin Raskin, who focused on the importance of the prompt for ChapGPT, while showcasing its power;
  • Yuval Machlin, COO D-iD, who explored advances in Generative AI with a presentation included some fascinating video segments;
  • Jo Dalvean demonstrated how ChatGPT can be successfully used in an education setting;
  • Anthony Wong considered the Intellectual Property implications of these technologies; and
  • Stephen Ibaraki provided a video demonstrating Bing AI. He showed how he asked the platform questions about WSIS and illustrated how the tool can literally save hours by quickly finding the information needed.
    All of the presentations will be posted on the IP3 website.

Moira was also invited to join the panel:  WSIS Action Lines C10: Ethics: The UNESCO Recommendation on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence: Putting ethics at the heart of AI systems.  This very interactive session explored the UNESCO recommendation and additional considerations.

In addition to the activities described above, the IFIP team met with several UN agencies, including UNIDO, CSTD and ITU AI for Good, making it a very valuable time indeed.

IP3 Accreditations

The IP3 board is pleased to announce that, on the recommendation of the Standards and Accreditation assessors, both IPSJ and ACS have been reaccredited for a period of five years. 

David O’Leary Award

IP3 has received funding to continue this award for the next three years. The call for nominations will be included in the next issue of Insights. Please start thinking of worthy nominees. You can find the criteria here. This year, we will be giving the nominator of the winner a small gift (USD100 Amazon Gift Card), to acknowledge that there is effort involved in researching and writing a nomination.