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16 December, 2015 at 1:15 PM - 2:45 PM EST

(UN Headquarters, New York) On Wednesday 16 December, the Mission of Ireland to the UN together with UN Global Pulse, ITU, UNCTAD and Google will host a side-event during the UN General Assembly’s High-level Meeting on the overall review of the implementation of the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society.










The event will build on the objectives of WSIS and take as its starting point the role that ICTs will play in achieving sustainable development in a digital world. The event will discuss how ICTs can bridge digital divides and the role data and analytics can play in delivering the 2030 Agenda, ensuring that no one is left behind. Expert speakers will give an overview of what is possible today in terms of technology and data and what is coming tomorrow.

For many delegates to the UN the potential and the risks of global use of ICTs and data have not yet been explored in depth. Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognises the role to be played by ICTs and declares that: “the spread of information and communications technology and global interconnectedness has great potential to accelerate human progress, to bridge the digital divide and to develop knowledge societies…”

Now, the outcome document of the WSIS +10 High-Level Meeting offers a blueprint for future action in this domain. This side event aims to begin the necessary conversation to translate the agreed outcome into specific directions for action in the coming period. The conversation should take place within the wider context of the 2030 Agenda. Leaving no one behind is a fundamental pledge made by the 2030 Agenda, and ICT is recognised as an important enabler if this pledge is to be met.
The discussion will also seek to navigate a path that might be followed to ensure that concerns around data protection, privacy, national security, efficiency and oversight are addressed in a balanced way. Such a path should ensure respect for human rights and that basic protections are in place, while at the same time optimising the contribution that ICTs and data can make to sustainable development.

ICT and data, in terms of both access and usage, must be properly directed. Otherwise they can result in maintaining or worsening inequalities and disempowerment. The WSIS +10 outcome addresses the positive potential of ICT and recognises the important contribution that its objectives can make to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals while also safeguarding against possible negative outcomes.

The event will comprise a number of short inputs from guest speakers and a moderated discussion amongst the panel. There will also be an opportunity for audience participation through Q&A.

More information at: http://unpan3.un.org/wsis10/Events/Side-Events/Mission-of-Ireland-Side-Event


Panel Speakers:

  • Towards 2030: Sustainable Development in a Digital World: H.E David Donoghue, Permanent Representative of Ireland to the United Nations
  • New ways of bridging the digital divide(s): Gary Fowlie; Head, ITU Liaison Office to the United Nations
  • How (big) data and analytics can help ensure that no-one is left behind. Anoush Tatevossian; Head of Partnerships, UN Global Pulse
  • Opportunities and Development Challenges in the Digital Economy, Torbjörn Fredriksson, OIC ST & ICT Branch, Division on Technology and Logistic, UNCTAD
  • It’s about more than technology: Non-technical hurdles to be overcome: Ross LaJeunesse, Global Head of Free Expression and International Relations, Google
  • Moderated discussion between panellists
  • Questions and Answers Session


Speaker Profiles:

H.E. David Donoghue has been Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Ireland to the United Nations since 2013. Prior to his appointment, Ambassador Donoghue held the position of Political Director of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Dublin from 2009-2013; he previously served as Irish Ambassador to Germany, Austria, the Vienna-based UN agencies, and to the Russian Federation. From 2001 to 2004, Ambassador Donoghue was Director-General of the Irish Government’s development cooperation programme. He also has extensive experience in Anglo-Irish relations, and was involved in the negotiation of the Anglo-Irish Agreement and the Good Friday Agreement, and served as Irish head of the Anglo-Irish Secretariat in Belfast from 1995-1999.

Mr Gary Fowlie is the Head of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Liaison Office to the United Nations. ITU is the specialized agency of the UN responsible for information and communication technology. Mr Fowlie worked as an Account Director for the global technology practice of the consulting firm Hill and Knowlton prior to joining the ITU and was responsible for communications for the UN World Summit on the Information Society. From 2005-2009 he occupied the post of Chief of Media Liaison for the United Nations in New York. He is an Economist and Journalist, having worked for the news service of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and The Economist.

Ms Anoush Rima Tatevossian leads Strategic Partnerships and Communications for UN Global Pulse. Global Pulse is an innovation initiative of the UN Secretary-General, which focuses on leveraging the opportunities afforded by big data and real-time analytics for global development and resilience through its network of “Pulse Labs.” Previously, she has worked as Partnerships Manager at MobileActive-a community of practitioners utilizing mobile technology for development.

Mr. Torbjörn Fredriksson heads the ICT Analysis Section of the Division on Technology and Logistics at the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). He is responsible for the annual Information Economy Report and UNCTAD’s work on ICT sector development, e-commerce and ICT measurement. He represents UNCTAD in the Partnership on Measuring ICT for Development and is one of the organizers of the annual WSIS Forum. He joined the UN in 2000 and was for eight years one of the main authors of the World Investment Report. Before joining UNCTAD, Mr Fredriksson held positions at the Invest in Sweden Agency, the Swedish Ministry of Industry and Commerce the Industrial Institute for Economic and Social Research in Stockholm.

Mr. Ross LaJeunesse is Global Head of International Relations for Google, where he oversees the company’s efforts to promote and defend a free and open Internet around the world. He has been with Google for more than seven years, and previously served as Head of Government Affairs in Asia Pacific. Before joining Google, he served as Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor to California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. He helped develop and execute the Governor’s comprehensive and ambitious policy agenda, including economic development, infrastructure investment and education reform issues.


16 December, 2015
1:15 PM - 2:45 PM EST
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