The Global Public Policy Summit (GPPS) 2009 ended at Fairmont Southampton yesterday and was hailed as a great success by attendees who came to Bermuda from over 25 countries.
GPPS 2009, a flagship event of the World Information Technology And Services Alliance (WITSA), focused on business technology as an enabler in world economies and featured representatives from key global players including the World Bank, WTO, ICANN, ITU, IGF and the OECD.
“I was extremely pleased to see delegates from around the world tackle the most pertinent issues facing our industry today”, said WITSA Chairman Dan E. Khoo. “As an enabler of other industries, ICT can raise productivity and efficiency in all economic sectors. The GPPS is an important venue for world ICT leaders, senior government officials and policy makers to work together to identify the best solutions for building out the ICT infrastructure through pro-competitive market policies and sound investments”.
The Hon. Michael Scott JP MP, Minister of Energy, Telecommunications & E-Commerce added “My Ministry was most pleased to be a partner in this incredible event which again shows that Government fully understands the importance of technology in a fast paced and rapidly changing world. We will continue to support initiatives that demonstrate that Bermuda is at the forefront of ICT.”
Noted David A. Olive, WITSA’s Public Policy Chairman, “GPPS 2009 in Bermuda convened an impressive group of private and public leaders to make recommendations on global public policies which impact the global ICT industry and enable ICT development and use by our businesses, economies, and societies. Our overall message from the Summit is that we should embrace ICT and place ICT in our plans and programs as a strategic economic driver for recovery and future sustainable economic growth. In addition, carefully crafted and flexible public policy attracts and facilitates innovation, trade and investment, information flows, and infrastructure.
A key part of GPPS 2009 was the Bermuda Declaration for the ICT Sector, which was adopted by over 90% of the delegates. The Declaration, whose initial proposal was drafted by Graham Wood of the Bermuda WITSA GPPS 2009 Committee, recognizes the importance of ICT as a proven driver for global economic activity and growth. It also set out some guiding parameters for harnessing the power and benefits of ICT.
The Declaration stated:
- ICT is a proven driver for global economic activity and growth.
- The economic growth generated by the development of the ICT sector will benefit all economies.
- Access to ICT and the knowledge and information provided by the Internet is an important part of an inclusive information society and is essential for broader sustainable economic growth.
- Public-private partnerships are a critical part in building ICT infrastructure and an information society.
- There should be an open trading system between nations free from barriers for ICT products and services. We urge WTO Members to reach the compromises needed to achieve a successful conclusion to the Doha Development Agenda with an ambitious and balanced outcome, including comprehensive results in services.
- Harnessing the power and benefits of ICT for society will not come automatically. Only if business and governments work together with other partners, including their education systems, can people everywhere be assured of access to ICT tools and the knowledge and empowerment they deliver.
- International strategies to tackle climate change need to make full use of ICT as one of the most powerful tools available, and one of the only ones that can produce dramatic changes without negative effects on prosperity or individual lifestyles.
- With the pressure on global public finances, Governments should recognize the use of ICT and technology-enabled change as tools to address their operational costs and efficiencies.
- The continued success and growth of ICT depends on trust and confidence; privacy and security should be appropriately integrated into ICT programs, systems, and products from the beginning.”
Nancy Volesky, Co-Chairman of the organising committee stated “We were very pleased and proud that WITSA took on board the idea of the Bermuda Declaration. It added an exciting and interactive element to GPPS 2009 as delegates were solicited for their input to produce the final declaration that establishes global objectives for the ICT industry.”
In addition, Mr. Olive, Chairman of the Declaration committee, pointed out that the Bermuda Declaration will be used to provide important inputs into a number of high level international conferences and summits taking place in the near future on internet governance, trade, and climate change.
A full draft of the Bermuda Declaration may be obtained at www.gpps2009.com.