The first physical meeting of the WSIS Forum Open Consultation Process has been held in Geneva as the organisers of the annual multi-stakeholder event seek to draw input from a wide range of sources in planning for next year’s event. 

The WSIS Forum is a global platform facilitating the implementation of the WSIS Action Lines for advancing sustainable development. The Forum is co-organised by ITU, UNESCO, UNCTAD and UNDP, in close collaboration with all WSIS Action Line co-/facilitators and other UN organisations (UNDESA, FAO, UNEP, WHO, UN Women, WIPO, WFP, ILO, WMO, ITC, UPU, UNODC, UNICEF, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNHCR and UN Regional Commissions). It provides an opportunity for information exchange, knowledge creation and sharing of best practices, while identifying emerging trends and fostering partnerships, taking into account the evolving Information and Knowledge Societies.

In follow up to the outcomes of the UN General Assembly Overall Review of the Implementation of WSIS Outcomes (Res. A/70/125) and with the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (Res. A/70/1), the WSIS Forum is constantly evolving and strengthening the alignment between the WSIS Action Lines and the Sustainable Development Goals.

The WSIS Forum is the only event of its kind where the programme and agenda are completely crowdsourced. Therefore, as organisers, ITU, UNESCO, UNCTAD and UNDP, announced the Open Consultation Process on thematic aspects and innovations on the format of the WSIS Forum 2020. The process aims at ensuring a participatory and inclusive spirit of the Forum, scheduled to be held from 30 March – 3 April 2020 at ITU in Geneva. This process actively engages governments, civil society, the private sector, academia, the technical community and intergovernmental organisations in the preparatory process to ensure broad ownership and further improvements of the Forum. The 2020 WSIS Forum (WSIS+15) will provide an opportunity to serve as a platform to track the achievements of WSIS Action Lines in collaboration with the UN Agencies involved and provide information and analyses of the implementation of WSIS Action Lines since 2005.

The Open Consultation Process for the WSIS Forum 2020 is structured in five phases and will include a collection of inputs from regional and national WSIS related events. The physical meetings of the Open Consultation Process will benefit from remote participation.

With the first physical meeting already successfully completed, subsequent physical meetings will be held in November 2019 and January 2020, with the final deadline for submissions on February 3rd, 2020. 

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