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WSIS Implementation and Follow-up

UNESCO works with all stakeholders towards the implementation of the outcomes of WSIS.

UNESCO’s role in the implementation process

UNESCO’s role in the implementation process is three-fold: 

  • UNESCO implements concrete activities included in the Geneva Plan of Action within the framework of its regular programme and budget.
  • UNESCO helps facilitating the coherent implementation of the Action Lines in its areas of competence.
  • UNESCO, together with ITU and UNDP, is engaged in shaping the overall multi-stakeholder coordination of the Facilitators of all Action Lines.

WSIS Action lines

The Tunis Agenda for the Information Society states that the WSIS implementation mechanism at the international level should be organised taking into account the themes and action lines in the Geneva Plan of Action, and moderated or facilitated by UN agencies when appropriate.  It also states that ITU, UNESCO and UNDP should play a leading facilitating role in the implementation of the Geneva Plan of Action.

UNESCO is responsible for six of Action Lines as listed below:

Access to information and knowledge (C3)

© Aleksey Buzuk

Action Line C3 is concerned with access to information and knowledge.  This cuts across many dimensions of the WSIS outcomes, and many aspects of UNESCO’s mandate to promote inclusive Knowledge Societies – from promoting equitable access to infrastructure to freedom of information, from supporting national strategies for ICTs within development to opening access to scientific information.  >> More 

E-learning (C7)

© bonnie jacobs

Everyone should have the necessary skills to benefit fully from the Information Society. Therefore capacity building and ICT literacy are essential. ICTs can contribute to achieving universal education worldwide, through delivery of education and training of teachers, and offering improved conditions for lifelong learning, encompassing people that are outside the formal education process, and improving professional skills. Action to remedy historic gender inequalities in education also forms an important part of the Millennium Development Goals and the goals of the UNESCO-led Education for All initiative. >> More 

E-science (C7)


Action Line C7 has focused particularly on access to scientific information and the diffusion of scientific content and knowledge. This addresses an important challenge for researchers in developing countries that is caused by the high access costs of scientific journals and poor internet connections in their countries. >> More

Cultural diversity and identity, linguistic diversity and local content (C8)

© oneclearvision

Cultural and linguistic diversity, while stimulating respect for cultural identity, traditions and religions, is essential to the development of an Information Society based on the dialogue among cultures and regional and international cooperation. It is an important factor for sustainable development. UNESCO emphasises the value of cultural and linguistic diversity in all its work.  It is also concerned to ensure that new media platforms make content available which is relevant to the lives of all communities and individuals, including the poor and marginalised. >> More

Media (C9)


Freedom of expression and the free flow of information, ideas and knowledge are essential for the information society and beneficial to development. Media have an essential role in the development of the information society and are recognized as an important contributor to freedom of expression and plurality of information. >> More

Ethical dimensions of the Information Society (C10)

© suemack

The Information Society should be subject to universally held values and promote the common good and to prevent abusive uses of ICTs. UNESCO is committed to the full implementation of the fundamental freedoms set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international rights Covenants.  Since 1997, it has already organized a series of events enabling specialists and decision-makers to address the ethical dimensions of the Information Society. >> More

WSIS Forum 2015 | Innovating Together: Enabling ICTs for Sustainable Development

The 2015 WSIS Forum will be held 25-29 of May 2015 in Geneva, Switzerland. The conference is co-organized by ITU, UNESCO, UNDP and UNCTAD in close collaboration with all WSIS Action Line Facilitators/Co-Facilitators. This Forum will allow information exchange on the implementation of Action Lines, creation of knowledge and sharing of best practices. The 2015 WSIS Forum will also provide opportunities for all participants to network as well as learn and discuss about WSIS implementation. UNESCO will organize one High-level Dialogue on Enabling ICT for Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Inclusive Development and Social Transformation and five Action Line sessions during the Forum: Revisiting “Openness and Inclusiveness” in Access to information to achieve Sustainable Development Goals; Cultural diversity and identity, linguistic diversity and local content; Teacher ICT competencies to support inclusive Knowledge Societies; Making the link – C10 for sustainable development and Free, independent and pluralistic media at the heart of Post-2015 development agenda.

    Previous WSIS Forums: 2014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010

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