Intergovernmental cooperation in the field of information and communication technologies (ICT) is considered by Belarus as an integral part of the processes aimed at promoting international development and ensuring equal access to ICT for developed and developing countries, as well as aimed at the transition to a multilateral Internet governance regime, ensuring active and equal participation of states in such regime.
Belarus actively participates in ICT development programs within the framework of the International Telecommunication Union, the Commission on Science and Technology for Development of the UN Economic and Social Council, and also within the framework of the WSIS process, which provides substantial advisory and technical support in the field of information technology development.
World Summit on the Information Society – WSIS
Belarus’ principal approaches to the issues of the use of ICT in the interests of development could be found in the statement (in Russian) of the President of the Republic of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko at the World Summit on the Information Society (11.12.2003, Geneva, Switzerland), where the Declaration of Principles for Building Information society and Action plan for building an information society were adopted. Aе the second phase of the Summit (November 16-18, 2005, Tunis) Belarus acted a a Vice-Chair. The outcomes of the Tunis phase were the Tunis Commitment and the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society were adopted setting the directions and mechanisms for international cooperation in sphere of high technologies.
Belarus also participated in the global review of the implementation of the Geneva and Tunis phases of the WSIS. The decision of the UN General Assembly (resolution 70/125) confirmed the relevance of the WSIS action lines.
Belarus actively participates in the annual WSIS Forum, aimed at sharing experience in the development of all areas of the information society. Since 2012, within the framework of the Forum, a competition of projects – WSIS Prizes – on the use of ICT for sustainable development and for information society development is being held. In 2017, the joint project of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection and the United Nations Development Program GreenMap Belarus won the WSIS prize in the category of e-environment.
Internet Governance Forum — IGF
One of the outcomes of the WSIS process was the creation of the UN Internet Governance Forum, a multilateral platform for discussing topical issues of Internet and ICT development, attended by states, international organizations, of ICT industry, academic circles and non-governmental organizations.
In order to strengthen public-private partnership in the field of ICT since 2016, Belarus holds a national forum on Internet governance — Belarus IGF.
Connect CIS Summit
In November 2009, at the initiative of Belarus, the Connect CIS Summit was held in Minsk. The Summit was organized jointly by Belarus and the International Telecommunication Union. The ITU Summit gathered more than 400 representatives of scientific, technical and business circles. High-level segment of the Summit was attended by 5 heads of state of the post-Soviet space.
The Summit was held to strengthen the capacity of CIS member states in the field of ICT application and development. It became a symbol of the international recognition of Belarus' high intellectual and technical potential in the development and use of information and communication technologies.
At the Summit common areas for the CIS countries in the development of the information society and mechanisms for their implementation were identified. Belarus put forward the idea of forming regional information systems to combat modern challenges and threats (including cybercrime, natural and man-made disasters), advocated the application at the interstate level of a common list of basic (socially significant) electronic services, the creation of an interstate monitoring system for the development of the information society, the creation of a strategic partnership in the field of ICT with the participation of government bodies, business circles and international organizations. As a result of the Summit, a joint declaration of the CIS countries Towards a digital future was adopted — a political statement on the commitment of the CIS countries to contribute to the implementation of the WSIS concept and objectives.