UAE participates in the World Summit on the Information Society WSIS 2011

Press release
Published May 23rd, 2011 - 07:18 GMT
The UAE National WSIS Committee during their participation at WSIS 2011
The UAE National WSIS Committee during their participation at WSIS 2011

The UAE, represented by the National WSIS Committee, participated in the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) 2011, held in Geneva during 16-20 May 2011, as the official sponsor and the strategic partner of the event. The WSIS is considered to be an international forum that gathers countries from around the world. The WSIS mainly focuses on the importance of the global telecommunication and information revolution, and on the need to adopt a global comprehensive vision.

The delegation of the UAE was headed by H.E Mohamed Nasser Al Ghanim, TRA Director General. The delegation also consisted of representatives of the UAE National WSIS Committee, and the Abu Dhabi Systems and Information Centre (ADSIC).

H.E , Mohamed Nasser Al Ghanim delivered a speech in the session which was held on Monday morning 16th May 2011, he said: “the participation of the UAE in sponsoring and organizing this international conference in a proof for the leading status which the UAE is creating for itself in being a regional hub with a growing importance, and as an effective international player.”

He referred to the importance of such summits as dynamic interactive functions that focus on education, exchange, connectivity, promoting partnerships, innovations and field experiences in the information and telecommunication sectors.

Speaking on the steps taken by the UAE in regards of the WSIS, Al Ghanim said: “We, in the United Arab Emirates have established a WSIS National Committee which has members from the National Stakeholder Organizations which adds the valuable experience from the industry and user community.  This Committee is earnestly working to implement the WSIS objectives and realize the vision of building an equitable, people centered and development oriented Information Society where the people can achieve the economic, social and cultural aspirations.” 

Following the inauguration session, Al Ghanim launched the UAE WSIS National Report, where he highlighted the importance of the report and the efforts of the UAE in achieving the goals of the WSIS. 

The Ghanim explained that the UAE WSIS National Report contains all information related to the UAE activities of the WSIS since it was launched, and that it is an important reference that documents every step made by the UAE to achieve WSIS goals. The report will provide all participant delegations with a background of the achievements of the UAE in this field. 

The UAE Country Workshop was held on the first day of the summit. The workshop discussed the WSIS Implementation in UAE, Internet Exchange Point Project, ae Domain Administration (aeDA), Gov E-Strategy, Radio Services and the UAE Information and Communication Technology Fund. 

The Emirati delegation hosted a reception on Monday, May 16, attended by H.E Ambassador Obaid Salem Al Zaabi, Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates to the United Nations in Geneva and he had the opening speech of the Reception, His Excellency the Secretary-General of ITU Dr. Hamadoun Toure and the Director General of TRA H.E Mohamed Nasser Al Ghanim, in addition to many distinguished guests and representatives of other organizations in the UN. The reception was the perfect opportunity to socialize and network with other guests, informing them about the UAE as well as the country’s ICT sector and WSIS achievements.

ADSIC delivered a presentation on the e-Government program, in which attendants were briefed about the program’s vision that goes in harmony with Abu Dhabi Vision 2030 and the Government Policy Agenda. The presentation addressed the development of the IT sector and upgrading the emirate’s electronic infrastructure and services, giving some historical background information on ADSIC’s establishment and development, the e-government vision, strategy and concepts and how it adopted the “Environment – Readiness – Usage” (ERU) Framework from the World Economic Forum (WEF). 

“Innovation for Digital Inclusion” 

On the second day, a Thematic workshop was specially convened for ADSIC, which featured a detailed presentation of the e-Government strategy, held by Mohammed Al Khamiri, Director of Strategy and planning. Al Khamiri highlighted the results of e-maturity evaluation, followed by a brief overview of the Abu Dhabi Government (ADG) Green IT strategy. He also explored economic projects, giving examples like the Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) program, Cyber laws, Information Security Program, the ADG network, Contact Center, the e-Government Portal, Jobs Abu Dhabi, and the Program’s vision to the future.

Khaled Al Mazrouei, Manager of Customer Service at ADG, introduced the Government’s Contact Center (800-555) strategy with its focus on customer satisfaction, and better quality service provision, as per applicable global practices. Al Mazrouei then reviewed recent developments in the Center since its establishment in 2008, and plans developed for improving its services, by means of full deployment of ICT capabilities.

A session was then held on the opening of the Information and Communication Technologies Exploratorium in Geneva by the UAE Government and the TRA in partnership with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). H.E Mohamed Nasser Al Ghanim, TRA Director General, delivered a speech mentioning that the government of the UAE and the TRA will offer a sum of two million USD for the design and construction of this Exploratorium which will open, free of charge, for the general public, ITU delegates and visiting experts. It will also strive to inform visitors about the rich history and exciting developments in ICT and ITU’s role in helping to ‘Connect the world’. In the evening of the same day, another Thematic Workshop “aeDA – UAE Domain Name Administration” was held. 

On the third day a high level dialogue session titled “Innovation for Digital Inclusion” was held, in which the UAE was represented by ADSIC. Khalifa Al Hameeri, Strategy Specialist, highlighted e-awareness programs and aspects of innovation included, and how these programs were modified and adapted for use with UAE students through the “Imagine Us” competition. In this example, the aim was to teach students problem-solving techniques using different ICT tools. In another example, in which the target audience were housewives, the aim was to raise the level of their digital awareness and how to deploy IT for making their lives better and easier. And so was the case with other categories like workers, and others.  

The last function of the WSIS on the fourth day was the convening of a high level dialogue titled ”Confidence and Security in Cyberspace”, the UAE was represented by H.E Mohamed Nasser Al Ghanim, TRA Director General. The session discussed the best methods and mechanisms that can be adopted in order to achieve a safer cyber space which is one of the core strategies of the TRA. 

Background Information

Telecommunication Regulatory Authority

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was established according to the UAE Federal Law by Decree No. 3 of 2003 – Telecom Law, on regulating the telecommunications sector in the UAE. Since its establishment, the TRA has exceeded expectations by achieving its projected goals in record time.

The role of TRA focuses on two fields: regulating the telecommunications sector, and enabling government entities in the field of smart transformation.

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