Second Committee Speeches & Interventions

Statement by Asad M. Khan, Counsellor, Pakistan Mission to the United Nations, on Agenda item 49: Information and Communication Technologies for Development (27 March 2005)

Mr. President,

Let me at the outset thank the Secretary General of the International Telecommunication Union for presenting the outcome documents for the two phases of the World Summit on Information Society.

2. My delegation would like to associate itself with the statement made by the distinguished representative of South Africa on behalf of the Group of 77 and China. As a member of the G-77 and China, we are also very happy to cosponsor the draft resolution on World Summit on Information Society.

3. We also join others in conveying our gratitude to the people and Government of Tunisia for hosting the second phase of WSIS.

4. Our leaders at the 2005 World Summit committed themselves to building a people-centered and inclusive information society to enhance digital opportunities for all people in order to help bridge the digital divide. They also committed to putting the potential of ICT at the service of development.

5. We see the WSIS process as a bold and unique attempt to address ICT issues, through a structured and inclusive approach, involving multi-stakeholder participation. The two-phased architecture of WSIS offered the necessary space for an all encompassing and lively debate on wide ranging issues related to the prospective information society.

6. Clearly, the high level political participation in both the Geneva and Tunis phases has provided the much-needed political impetus to the evolving global vision of an information society.

7. Pakistan welcomes the strong development orientation of the WSIS outcomes and calls for its full operationalization including in regard to the mandated processes such as Internet Governance Forum and enhanced cooperation. We are hopeful that all the relevant actors and stakeholders will be contributing actively to the implementation of WSIS Outcomes by initiating appropriate actions within their respective competencies.

8. Pakistan has been closely engaged in the WSIS process throughout. More recently, as Chair of the Sub-Committee dealing with Internet Governance, Pakistan played a pivotal role in forging consensus in the difficult and complex area of internet governance. We believe that important issues like internet governance, cyber security, open source and freedom of expression and the role of media need to be resolved in a manner that takes due cognizance of interests of all stakeholders.

9. Pakistanís vision of an information society is one that is inclusive and affords opportunities to people regardless of frontiers to benefit from the possibilities it brings in all spheres of human existence. Back home, we have attached high priority on putting in place the necessary physical and legal infrastructure that would facilitate integration into the information society.

10. The Government is acting as an enabler for the growth of ICT. A host of goals are being pursued under a separate, dynamic IT Ministry. These include massive investment in education, training, especially IT/virtual universities; infrastructure development; increasing teledensity and universalizing access to the Internet. We have also evolved a comprehensive national ICT strategy and an effective mechanism to monitor its implementation.

11. We believe that if the opportunities were to be fully exploited, it would be necessary to develop capabilities to adapt, maintain, customize and reconfigure existing ICT solutions to our specific requirements.

12. We look forward to an active and constructive engagement with the member states and all relevant stakeholders to secure the full operationalization of the development orientation of the WSIS Outcomes in order to evenly distribute the benefits of ICTs in a globalized world economy.

I thank you, Mr. President.

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