The past decade has demonstrated in countless ways the transforming effects that information and communication technologies (ICT) can have on the way we live, learn, work, play, and interact with the people and institutions around us. The ICT revolution has had an impact perhaps even more profound than that of the industrial revolution so many years ago. Now, as then, individuals, businesses, and countries are at a critical turning point. To compete, to remain relevant in a rapidly changing technological landscape and an increasingly global economy, countries must make a firm commitment to upgrade their human capabilities and technological and legislative infrastructures to embrace these new developments and use them to their advantage.
Iraq remains firmly committed to its goal of bridging the digital divide -- to ensure that Iraq, its citizens, and its businesses derive the maximum benefit from information and communication technology. This commitment to fostering a transition to an Information Society is made not as an end in itself but rather as a means to the more fundamental goals of the Iraqi government: improved public services, a stronger economy, increased productivity and greater opportunities for all.
This document outlines MoST’s vision of building the Information Society and bridging the digital divide. With MoST’s Information Society Initiative, the Iraqi government will witness a developed framework to move the country into the information era. The initiative promotes partnerships of public, private, non-profit, civil society and multilateral stakeholders and fosters the development of new models of leadership and collaboration. Private sector involvement is of strategic importance in this area not only to provide technological expertise and innovation but also to take the lead in devising market-based solutions that are socially responsible and invest the capital required to build the infrastructure to put ICT at the service of development.
The national information society initiative will be the basis for Iraq’s input to the declaration of principles and plan of action of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). The WSIS is the venue for world leaders and the ICT community to seek consensus on a common vision and better understanding of the information society through the adoption of a declaration and plan of action. The objective of the WSIS action plan is to ensure that developing countries including Iraq fully benefit from the emergence of the global Information Society to achieve their national objectives. Iraq hopes that the initiative can serve as a useful guide for other countries with comparable experiences. We present this document in the hope that it will generate constructive dialogue and provide an opportunity to exchange experiences with partners from around the world.