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Position Paper of China on the overall review of the implementation of the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society(WSIS)


I.Progress made of the implementation of the outcomes of WSIS

The World Summit on the Information Society has declared our common desire and commitment to build a people-centred, inclusive and development-oriented information society, where everyone can create, access, utilize and share information and knowledge, and individuals, communities and all peoples are enabled to achieve their full potentials in promoting sustainable development and improving quality of life. Over the past ten years, the international community has achieved good progress in promoting such a global endeavor, and in narrowing the digital divide, thanks to joint efforts of all concerned, and in particular, to the rapid ICT development in developing countries.

II.Challenges to the implementation of the outcomes of WSIS

The review process provides an opportunity to evaluate the implementation of the WSIS outcomes, and seek consensus through discussions on the challenges ahead and major issues to be addressed. Such a process is essential to clarifying the prospects for the information society and the way forward, and to promoting cooperation and common development of all countries. Progress has been slow and serious challenges remain in the global response to addressing cyber security threats and in promoting Internet governance.

III.Priorities in the review of the implementation of the outcomes of WSIS

Firstly, focusing on bridging the digital divide. The international community should strive to achieve this goal by promoting universal access to information and communication technologies, so as to create digital opportunities shared by all and ensure equal opportunities for all countries to pursue development powered by ICT innovations. The key to this effort is to give priority to satisfying the needs of developing countries, helping them strengthen communication infrastructure and capacity-building, improving their overall digital landscape, and promoting social-economic development through science and technology. The international community should foster a fairer and more reasonable international development order, and take strong actions to improve the ability of women and the youth to use information and Internet platforms.

Secondly, promoting development. The international community should promote inter-connectivity by strengthening information and communication infrastructure, promote global sharing of advanced information and communication technologies and cooperation in this respect, and to advancing innovations and better integration of information and communication technologies with other drivers for sustainable economic and social development. The vision of ICT development should contribute to the implementation of the post-2015 development agenda, and support the advancement of the outcomes of WSIS review process in the context of the post-2015 development agenda.

Thirdly, improving Internet governance. We should establish a multilateral, democratic, and transparent international Internet governance system that ensures equal participation of all, reasonable allocation of Internet resources, and joint management of key Internet infrastructure. A multi-stakeholder governance model that brings together governments, the private sector and non-governmental organizations would be respected, all of which contribute in their own distinct way to the joint governance of the Internet. This model should not be lopsided, and any tendency to place sole emphasis on the role of businesses and non-governmental organizations while marginalizing governments should be avoided. The roles and responsibilities of national governments in regard to regulation and security of the network should be upheld. It is necessary to ensure that United Nations plays a facilitating role in setting up international public policies pertaining to the Internet. We should work on the internationalization of Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

Fourthly, addressing effectively the challenges of cyber security. It is crucial for all countries to work together through dialogue to keep the Internet safe and secure, on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, and jointly build a peaceful, secure, open and cooperative cyber space. The international community should reach consensus as expeditiously as possible on a set of international rules governing the cyberspace. Cyber terrorism and crimes have become common threats to all countries, and should be dealt with by a joint international response. The international community should take robust measures to prevent terrorist organizations from using the Internet to broadcast terrorist and violent audiovisual materials, spread extremist ideology, recruit new members, raise funds, and instigate, plot and execute terrorist activities. It is important to develop in the framework of the United Nations a comprehensive and balanced international convention against international cybercrimes. All countries should participate actively in the work of the UN Expert Group on Crime in Cyberspace. The central importance of the principles of international law enshrined in the UN Charter, particularly the political independence, territorial integrity and sovereign equality of states, non-interference in internal affairs of other states and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms should be emphasized.

Fifthly, building on past achievements and devising a new way forward. The outcome document of the high-level event of the 10-year review to be held in December should not only take stock of past experience and evaluate the implementation of the WSIS outcomes, but also look ahead and develop a new programme of action that reflects the new circumstances and the goal of building a people-centered, inclusive and development-oriented information society. While the coordinating and facilitating role of international organizations, such as the International Telecommunication Union, remains essential, coordination with multiple stakeholders should be enhanced at the international level. New missions and fresh impetus should be given to the WSIS process in the context of the post-2015 development agenda.

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