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MEETINGS

Roundtable on Strategies and Plans of Action for Building the Information Society in Western Asia
Beirut, 21-22 June 2004

Information Note | Click here to download the PDF version


Introduction

As a follow up to the first phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and in preparation for its second phase to be held in Tunis on 2005, ESCWA is organizing a roundtable on “Strategies and plans of action for building the information society in Western Asia”. This roundtable will be the second in a series of roundtables planned by the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Division in ESCWA during 2004.

This activity will be in alignment with ESCWA commitment to devising, adopting, and fostering implementation of a regional plan of action for building the information society. It is envisioned that this activity will increase ownership and commitment among member countries, which will lead to fostering collaboration and partnership among the various stakeholders in building the Information Society in the region.


Objective

The Roundtable aims at reaching a consensus on a suitable regional plan of action for building the information society in Western Asia and ensuing national actions. A tentative plan of action for the information society in Western Asia, produced by ESCWA and based on the global Plan of Action adopted in the Geneva phase of WSIS, will constitute the basis for discussions at the Roundtable. This plan should help achieve regional integration and cooperation while reinforcing the economic potential of Western Asia on the global arena.


Topics

The main topics to be covered in the Roundtable are:

  1. Review of regional strengths and opportunities of the ICT sector with a view to developing the information society in Western Asia;

  2. Priority domains of the regional plan of actions and related actions, including framework for monitoring impact and progress of work;

  3. Lessons learned from implementing e-strategies, which affect regional ICT vision and planning;

  4. Impact of the regional plan of action on national e-strategies;

  5. Key regional projects for building the information society;

  6. Financing and partnerships for implementing the plan of action and key regional ICT projects.


Participants

Participants in the Roundtable will include a carefully selected group of experts in ICT policies, applications and services, in their personal capacity, that includes decision makers from member countries, business and NGO executives, as well as representatives of international/regional multilateral development and funding agencies.


Outcome

The major output of the Roundtable will be a proposal for a regional plan of action to promote the information society in Western Asia. It is expected to be a comprehensive document covering major areas of the information society and including implementation and monitoring mechanisms at regional and national levels. This document will be presented for adoption at the Second Western Asia Preparatory Conference for the WSIS and should pave the way for launching national plans of action backed up by national e-strategies.

It is also envisaged to identify key pilot projects for implementation and to propose suitable financing and partnership frameworks in order to sustain the development of the information society in Western Asia.


Organization

The Roundtable is organized by the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Division in ESCWA. It will include a limited number of presentations on the above topics and discussion sessions focusing on the regional plan of action.


Language

Contributions would be in either Arabic or English. Simultaneous translation from Arabic to English and vice-versa will be provided.

Additional Information

Any inquiries and requests for additional information regarding participation and substantive matters should be addressed to:

Mr. Ahmed Farahat, Director
ICT Division, ESCWA
P.O. Box 11-8575, Beirut, Lebanon
Email: farahat@un.org
Tel: +961-1-978549
Fax: +961-1-981510

Inquiries regarding logistics, including travel and accommodation should be directed to:

Ms. Zahr Bou-Ghanem
Research Assistant
ICT Division, ESCWA
P.O. Box 11-8575, Beirut, Lebanon
Email: bou-ghanem@un.org
Tel: +961-1-978544
Fax: +961-1-981510