EghtesadOnline: Technology experts from across continents are converging in Geneva for the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) Forum that started on Monday.
The theme is "Information and Communication Technologies for Achieving Sustainable Development Goals". Iran is among the participants.
The WSIS Forum is a global UN multi-stakeholder platform facilitating the implementation of the WSIS Action Lines for advancing sustainable development goals.
Introduced in 2005, the action line, which is also dubbed the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society, calls for the creation of an Internet Governance Forum, a lightweight, multi-stakeholder governance structure for the Internet, according to Financial Tribune.
The WSIS is co-organized by four UN Agencies, namely the International Telecommunication Union, UN Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization, UN Conference on Trade and Development, and the United Nations Development Program.
It provides an opportunity for information exchange, knowledge creation and sharing best practices while identifying emerging trends and fostering partnerships.
ICT Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi left Tehran for Geneva on Tuesday to participate in the five-day forum.
He will travel to Vienna later for talks with the director of the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), Simonetta Di Pippo, ict.gov.ir reported.
Jahromi will confer with officials from the United Nations Industrial Development Organization. The government in Tehran and UNIDO will discuss ways to support Iranian startups and create jobs in the key ICT sector.
The ITU has announced the top 90 ICT-related projects recognized for implementing the WSIS Action Lines, competing for the 2019 WSIS prizes.
Two projects from Iran have been nominated, namely Iran National Research and Education Network (Iran NERN), and the Diar Geographical Information System.
With participants from across the globe, 72 champions will be honored and 18 winners will be awarded during the meeting.
Since 2012, WSIS Prizes has been recognizing remarkable efforts made by entities and organizations from around the globe that focus on accelerating the socio-economic progress of the world as a community.
Iran National Research and Education Network (Iran NERN which is locally called by its Persian abbreviation SHOA) is a public-private partnership (PPP) project between the Iran private sector, government and academia.
SHOA is a specialized Internet service provider dedicated to supporting the needs of the research and education communities in the country.
Similar networks are used in other countries and are usually distinguished by support for high-speed backbone network, often offering dedicated channels for individual research projects.
According to the ITU, Iran NERN is one of the components of the science economy ecosystem and has contributed to the development of e-science in Iran, as well as capacity building in scientific development. It also provides high-speed access to universities, research centers and students.
Led by the private sector, the project is backed by Iran’s Information Technology Organization (ITO) and the Iranian Research Organization for Science and Technology (IROST).
Diar Geographical Information System
Developed by the ICT ministry, Diar has been designed to capture, analyze, and present the status and coverage of various ICT services in different locations in a visual and map-based format.
The system is being used to recognize areas and locations that need further action and identify parts of the country that require immediate attention.
ITU says that Diar can help reduce the digital divide between different parts of the country. Furthermore, Diar is a practical tool that can be used for improving conditions in deprived areas and help accomplish sustainable development goals SDGs).
It can help improve the quality of life in the rural and remote regions resulting in the betterment of the living standards and curbing rural to urban migration trends.
Moreover, the information available on Diar can be utilized to design environmentally-friendly ICT systems, networks and services based on various types of renewable energy.
Data from the Communication Regulatory Authority show currently over 83% of rural areas in Iran have access to landline communication services — 51,200 villages out of the total 61,700.