IFLA attended the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum 2015, held in Geneva from 25–29 May. Intergovernmental groups, stakeholders and other key players attended the High-Level dialogue which was focused on innovation, partnerships, the link between ICTs and the Global Sustainable Development Agenda and the connection of the WSIS Action lines to the UN Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  IFLA, a longtime supporter of WSIS and advocate of access to information, was pleased to see the launch of a new tool, produced by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), which mapped WSIS Action Lines to the UN Post-2015 SDGs. The map showed the clear importance of access to information to all of the 17 proposed SDGs, and creates an important space for advocacy around the role of libraries as information access points and promoters of economic and social development in the new post-2015 development framework. The outcome of mapping these goals for sustainable development reaffirms IFLA’s goals for the new framework as stated in the Lyon declaration.

IFLA’s engagement

On May 27th, IFLA Governing Board member Genevieve Clavel presented to the WSIS Forum a high level statement outlining IFLA’s overall vision for the forthcoming 10 year review of WSIS).  

Download IFLA's Statement to the WSIS Forum [PDF]

The IFLA statement emphasized the importance of increasing affordable access to ICTs, and ensuring digital preservation of cultural heritage. It recalled the priorities of the WSIS+10 high level event outcome documents from 2014, which call for continued support of public access to information points such as libraries and community information centers. In addition, IFLA wishes to see that the WSIS review is an open, inclusive and transparent process with meaningful input from all stakeholders. Prior to the WSIS Forum, IFLA released a joint statement with the Association of Progressive Communications (APC) and the Internet Democracy Project, and this statement was also presented at the WSIS Forum on Friday 29 May.

The Lyon Declaration launched in 2014 and sets out how access to information can support all of the Post-2015 SDGs, and how access to ICT is a crucial part of the development equation.

If your organization shares IFLA’s values, join the over 550 current signatories and sign the Lyon Declaration.