For the last month or so, we have been discussing this issue with the UNGIS co-chairs. I even had a private call with the current UNESCO chair and asked for more details. After careful analysis our idea was to once to pass on this offer (as we did back in 2007/08).
While on mission I got a message from ExO who informed me that the Administrator had in principle agreed to assume this responsibility, after being somewhat pressured t by the USG of UNESCO and ITU at a CEB meeting. This piece of news came as a shock to me as I was certainly not expecting such development. This AM I called ExO and we agreed that we will not do this afterall. ExO asked for a very short text explaining the rationale for this decision which we provided. Here is the text:
Chairing of UNGIS will entail assuming certain commitments that will demand UNDP to invest some resources to fulfill, specially in terms of HR resources and high-level representation in at least two meetings per year. The core work of UNGIS is marginally related to the work we do in UNDP so we will certainly do not gain much by being at the steering wheel of UNGIS
for the next year or so.
However, UNDP has recently re-engaged with UNGIS and is currently contributing on some of the work it is being undertaken by the group. This includes: a) inputs into the 2011-2012 UNGIS strategy; b) co-organizing the upcoming Special Session in LDC IV on ICTs and LDCs and drafting the core concept note; c) assisting UNGIS with UNDG/DOCO on the
recommendation of the GA to include ICTs in the guidelines for UNDAF design; and d) providing overall inputs to other activities on ICT for Development and e-governance where UNDP has long-standing expertise and field experience. Through BDP/DGG, UNDP can certainly continue to support UNGIS at this level.