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UAE to present its impressive ICT achievements at WSIS 2012

posted on 14/05/2012: 1728 views

Geneva - The UAE will introduce its impressive achievements and progress in terms of e-government to the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) which will be held in Geneva from 14th to 18th May 2012.

Organisers ITU, UNESCO, UNCTAD and UNDP say the WSIS Forum 2012 will provide structured opportunities to network, learn and to participate in multi-stakeholder discussions and consultations on WSIS implementation.

Ambassador Obaid Salem Al Za'abi, Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates to the United Nations in Geneva, will lead the UAE delegation to the WSIS 2012 which comprises representatives from Sharjah Department of Information and eGovernment, Emirates eGovernment, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), UAE representative at ITU, Emirates Identity Authority and Ankabut, the UAE Advanced Network for Research and Education.

The UAE, being the strategic partner of the event, will engage in the opening session where Al Za'abi will address the international audience on UAE's projects and initiatives related to achieving the WSIS goals.

The UAE has made a remarkable achievement worldwide in the field of eGovernment according to the UN E-Government Survey 2012. The biennial Survey is the most comprehensive reference for eGovernment programmes in the world. The 2012 edition of the Report focuses on the role of eGovernment in sustainable development.

The UAE has leaped to rank 7 on online service index in the United Nations E-Government Survey 2012; up from rank 99 in the 2010 version of the biennial report. This noteworthy advancement is a rare achievement for a country since the UN started releasing the E-Government Surveys in 2003.

The Report also shows that the UAE Government has made a great advancement in the field of eParticipation, another main factor in determining eReadiness. The UAE has advanced from rank 86 in 2010 to rank 6 in the 2012 Report. eParticipation is particularly important as a tool of communication between the Government and the public.

This giant progress was reflected in the overall rank of the UAE in the eGovernment development index. The UAE has advanced from rank 49 in 2010 to rank 28 in 2012. Over this short period, Emirates eGovernment has succeeded in regaining the leading position of the UAE in the field of eReadiness in the region and the world.

WSIS is a unique two-phase United Nations (UN) summit that was initiated in order to create an evolving multi- stakeholder platform aimed at addressing the issues raised by information and communication technologies (ICTs) through a structured and inclusive approach at the national, regional and international levels. The goal of WSIS is to achieve a common vision, desire and commitment to build a people-centric, inclusive and development-oriented Information Society where everyone can create, access, utilise and share information.

Emirates eGovernment unveiled major initiatives and projects it will launch in the year 2012. The initiatives and projects are part of the Federal eGovernment Strategy 2012-2014 which chart out the course of action for Emirates eGovernment over the next three years. The initiatives include: the interactive and collaborative electronic encyclopaedia of the UAE (UAEPedia), the UAE eGovernment Award, the computing cloud of the UAE government and the Open Government Programme. Successful implementation of the Federal eGovernment Strategy 2012-2014 will help in improving the UAE's global competitiveness and enhancing the UAE's eTransformation.

The WSIS forum is a great opportunity for the UAE to view others' experiments in the ICT field and benefit from them, as it provides a forum for exchanging views and experiences. The importance of the UAE's participation emerges from being a leading country, not only on a regional level, but also on a global scale, due to the industry-best state-of-the-art approach adopted by the UAE.

The UAE's participation will also enable the WSIS National Committee to continue its preparation ahead of the review that will be carried out by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and other international organisations in 2015 to all countries in order to see what has been achieved following the recommendations of the 2003 and 2005 summits.

The country's strategic partnership in the event reaffirms its commitment to the WSIS recommendations, and the level of development the UAE information society enjoys.

On the first day, 14 May 2012, of the WSIS, the UAE participate in the Opening Ceremony, and the Thematic Workshop where the Emirates Identity Authority will participate in the first session, and the Sharjah eGovernment in the second session under the title "eTransformation '&' Integration; Key Perspectives in Growing Government Entities,". A high-level lunch will also be sponsored by UAE.

The second day of the event is scheduled to include a country workshop titled: "UAE Success Stories, Commitment and Dedication" in which officials from the TRA, Emirates Identity Authority, and Sharjah eGovernment will engage.

The participation will also promote expertise exchange, and the results emerging from such international gatherings will provide accurate information and the proper image of the country in several international reports. The participation will also catalyse initiatives and projects to promote the use of information and communications technologies in all sectors, provide an enabling environment to support local and federal strategies of the UAE and facilitate access in all fields, encourage developing content and prepare the required conditions for the use of Arabic language on the internet, enhance infrastructure of communication networks and elevate the level of communication services, encourage investments to develop the use of IT, and encourage active partnerships among all sectors. – Emirates News Agency, WAM


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