Montreal, October 23, 2012: At the successful conclusion of the 2012 World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT 2012), the World Information Technology and Services Alliance today issued the Declaration of the 18th World Congress on Information Technology on enabling access for all (“The Montreal Declaration”).
In the Declaration, WITSA commits to work with all governments, stakeholder organizations and business leaders to develop ways and means for ICT and digital technologies, their application and benefits to be available to all.
The Declaration draws on the central theme of discussions and presentations held during the World Congress, as well as the associated World Tech Jam, held in June, which attracted over 11,000 participants. It also reflects the experience of thousands of ICT companies that are part of the network of 84 national ICT industry associations constituting WITSA.
“As the recognized global voice of the ICT industry, WITSA applauds national and regional governments who identify and implement best practices and policy actions that have the greatest potential to deliver the promise of the digital age to everyone”, said WITSA Policy Action Chairman John Higgins.
“Governments that are most successful in delivering the benefits of the digital age understand and implement sound policy derived from four key building blocks: they build thriving ICT sectors; they actively use and promote ICT as a key tool to enable and deliver sustainable economic growth; they enthusiastically apply ICT to boost the delivery of efficient and effective public services; and they take active measures to protect the information infrastructure, and information”, continued Mr. Higgins.
“The benefits of these policies are clearly evident in many countries”, he continued. “Health services, transport systems, government services and businesses are being rapidly transformed through ICT and access to the Internet.”
“However, less than a third of the world’s population is connected. There are obvious challenges in emerging economies, but even significant parts of developed economies do not have effective access.”
“WITSA commits to work closely with governments, multi-national organizations and other stakeholders that share our vision that information and communications technologies can and does transform society, not just through improvements in government services, business, markets and entertainment, but by protecting the environment and reducing the carbon footprint, by enabling the exchange of information
that encourages transparency, fosters social inclusion, and supports cultural diversity”, said WITSA secretary General Dr. Jim Poisant. “Through our unique network of national associations, WITSA is well positioned to partner with governments in order to promote affordable and widely available broadband Internet access through transparent, market-based policies, competition as well as public and private sector infrastructure investments”, continued Dr. Poisant.
“The clear benefits flowing from ICT in countries such as Canada underscores the fundamental need to provide access to all humankind”, added WCIT 2012 Program Chair Anthony D Williams. “This 18th World Congress has highlighted the progress we have made, and also the progress we must ensure is made in many parts of the planet”.
The Declaration is WITSA’s fourth, drawn from its program of annual summits and congresses and builds on the 2009 Bermuda Declaration1, the 2010 Amsterdam Declaration2, the 2011 Guadalajara Declaration3 as well as WITSA’s 2011 Policy Actions to Deliver the Promise of the Digital Age4, which consolidates this experience and identifies recommended policy actions for national governments and multi-national institutions; actions that will help harness the capability of the global ICT industry to deliver the benefits of a truly digital age.
The Montreal Declaration is posted at https://www.witsa.org/MontrealDeclaration_FINAL.pdf.
The World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA) is the leading recognized international voice of the global ICT industry, whose members from 84 countries and economies represent more than 90 percent of the world ICT market. WITSA is dedicated to advocating policies that advance industry growth and development; facilitating international trade and investment in ICT products and services; strengthening WITSA’s national industry associations; and providing members with a broad network of professional contacts.
WITSA hosts both the World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT), the premier global industry sponsored ICT conference, and the Global Policy and Trade Conference (GPAC).
WITSA members are leaders in a globally interconnected marketplace. Because the challenges facing the ICT industry are undisputedly global in nature, WITSA members work together to achieve a shared vision on important issues of common interest. WITSA makes it possible for its members — ranging from Mongolia and Argentina to Kenya and the United States — to identify common issues and priorities, exchange valuable information, and present a united position on industry issues.
For more information on WITSA, please visit www.witsa.org
The Bermuda Declaration (link; see WITSA website)
The Amsterdam Declaration (link; see WITSA website)
The Guadalajara Declaration (link; see WITSA website)
Publication: "Policy Actions to Deliver the Promise of the Digital Age" (link; see WITSA website)