G3ict – the Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies – is an advocacy initiative launched in December 2006 by the United Nations Global Alliance for ICT and Development, in cooperation with the Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities at UN DESA. Its mission is to facilitate and support the implementation of the dispositions of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on the accessibility of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) and assistive technologies. G3ict relies on an international network of ICT accessibility experts to develop and promote good practices, technical resources and benchmarks for ICT accessibility advocates around the world. It is incorporated as a nonprofit organization in the State of Georgia, USA, and headquartered in Atlanta.
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is one of the fastest ever negotiated Human Rights treaties: adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2006, it has now been signed by 160 countries and ratified by 161 countries (as of February 2016). The Convention - and more specifically its Article 9 - creates the first universal framework addressing the accessibility of Information and Communication Technologies and assistive technologies.
These dispositions benefit an estimated one billion persons living with disabilities worldwide, making accessible and assistive ICT solutions a priority for industry, users, and policy makers and representing both a major Human Rights milestone and a considerable market driver for Assistive and Accessible ICTs.
G3ict’s key constituents include policy makers and public sector institutions, organizations of persons with disabilities, ICT industries, the private sector, international standards development organizations and academia. Participating international institutions in G3ict programs include the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations Department for Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), and the World Bank.
G3ict is chaired by His Excellency Luis Gallegos, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Ecuador to the United Nations in Geneva, past chair of the United Nations Ad-hoc Preparatory Committee of the Convention, and is led by its President and Executive Director, Axel Leblois, who spent more than 20 years at the helm of information technology companies in the United States, including as CEO of Computerworld Communications, CEO of IDC - International Data Corporation, President of Bull HN Worldwide Information Systems (formerly Honeywell Information Systems), CEO of ExecuTrain, and President of W2i, the Wireless Internet Institute.
To accomplish its mission, G3ict works in collaboration with its constituents to:
- Raise awareness on effective public policies, private sector initiatives, and standardization references. It reaches key stakeholders via conferences and showcases, briefings, web activities, publications, and social media;
- Facilitate the sharing of solutions and good practices through a Web-based platform www.g3ict.org, an electronic newsletter, worldwide databases on country achievements, companies ICT accessibility policies, and case studies, books and white papers from leading authors and institutions on specific areas of technology or public policy;
- Foster harmonization and standardization by promoting the work of ITU, ISO, ETSI, ANSI, W3C, DAISY Consortium and other leading Standards Development Organizations;
- Support policy makers with capacity building programs and benchmarking. Deliverables include the online "ITU-G3ict e-Accessibility Policy Toolkit for Persons with Disabilities" and its companion handbook which was developed as a joint publication of ITU, G3ict, and the Centre for Internet and Society, in collaboration with The Hans Foundation, and the "CRPD 2013 ICT Accessibility Progress Report," developed in collaboration with Disabled People's International (DPI).