Belarus considers intergovernmental cooperation in the sphere of information and communication technologies (ICT) as an integral part of advancing international development and providing developed countries and countries in transition with equal access to ICT. The President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko voiced the country’s fundamental approach to the implementation of ICT during the World Summit on the Information Society in Geneva, Switzerland (Dec. 12, 2003) and the Connect CIS Summit in Minsk (Nov. 26, 2010). Belarusian delegation made a substantial contribution to the second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society held in Tunis on November 16-18, 2005.
The Declaration of Principles. Building the Information Society and the Plan of Actions for Building the Information Society were adopted during the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Geneva. The Tunis Commitment and the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society reflecting concerted areas and strategies of international cooperation were adopted during the second phase of WSIS in Tunis.
Belarus participates in ICT development programs and is a member of such international organizations as the UN, International Telecommunications Union and CIS Regional Commonwealth in the field of communications. Such network provides substantial advisory and technical support for elaborating a strategy of information technology development.
The UN Internet Governance Forum is a relatively new format of discussion. Cooperation with the majority of developed and developing countries is the main objective of the Belarusian policy voiced at the Forum. Such cooperation will help transform the Internet governance from unilateral to multilateral and ensure equal active involvement of all countries.
Cooperation with the International Telecommunications Union has become closer during the recent years. The International Telecommunications Union is a key partner for Belarus in terms of deeper cooperation with governmental institutions and business people from various countries to elaborate priority projects.
The international Connect CIS Summit was held by the ITU in November 2009. It is to strengthen CIS countries’ potential in the sphere of ICT implementation and development that the Summit was organized. At the same time, the decision to hold the meeting in Minsk reflected high intellectual and technical potential of the Republic of Belarus in the sphere of ITC development and implementation recognized by the international community.
Special attention was devoted to defining common development areas for the information society and implementation strategies during the Summit. Belarus expressed its dedication to build regional information systems to be up to the threats and challenges of today’s world (i.e. cybercrimes, natural and industrial disasters); adopting a list of socially important information services on the international level; creating an international monitoring system for the information society; establishing a strategic partnership between governmental bodies, business community and international organizations in ICT.
The Government passed Resolution 1174 on Strategy of the Information Society in the Republic of Belarus for the period up to 2015 on Aug. 9, 2010 by. It defined goals, objectives, conditions and priority areas of Belarusian information society as well as its implementation plan and projected results. The Strategy indicated that top high on the middle-term agenda of the international cooperation to build an information society should be:
- discussing the issues of creating a global information society, overseeing the use of global information facilities and building a monitoring system for the information society;
- creation and implementation of ICT international regulations;
- ensuring international and intergovernmental information exchange;
- forming an international system of information security and preventing the violation of ICT regulations;
· integrating education, science and culture of the country into a global scientific, educational and cultural information space;
- development projects for the international information society.
A comprehensive regulatory framework as well as law enforcement and organizational measures to implement the World Summit on the Information Society resolutions, including the development of information and communication technologies, were created in Belarus. Belarus keeps working to improve those measures.