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ITU implementing WSIS

“It is true that the summit increased ITU’s visibility. We, however, should do more to blow the myth that only those who are experts in technical matters can participate or contribute to the work of the Union. ITU is home to all stakeholders because information and communication technologies permeate all the facets of human life and impact everybody, regardless of their status, gender, specialty, or geographical location. The potential is there and we must build on the agenda set by the summit and ensure that ITU’s actions act as building blocks towards the attainment of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals set by world leaders in 2000” Dr. Hamadoun I. Touré, ITU Secretary-General, Antalya, November 2006.


 WSIS: A unique Summit in two phases
The WSIS was the first gathering of global leaders to address the issues of the Information Society including the use of ICTs for development, cyber security, Internet governance, affordable access to communications, infrastructure, capacity building and cultural diversity.
  • The first phase of the Summit took place in Geneva on 10-12 December 2003
  • The second phase took place in Tunis from 16 to 18 November 2005
  • As the UN agency in charge of telecommunications and other information and communication technologies, ITU played the lead role in the organization of the Summit.

  • In addition to serving as the Secretary General of the Summit, the Secretary-General of ITU chaired the Executive Secretariat of the Summit as well as the HLSOC (High Level Summit Organizing Committee), which comprised 28 UN agencies.

  • All along the process ITU also coordinated the preparation of the WSIS stocktaking database, which was intended to provide a global platform for the presentation, exchange and dissemination of information on activities promoting the development of the Information Society at the local, national, regional and global level.

  • ITU also launched the “Golden Book” project which focused on new projects conceived or undertaken during the Tunis Phase of WSIS, as well as on new financial commitments for activities related to WSIS implementation.

  • The ITU Plenipotentiary Conference also stressed the importance of ITU as an active and relevant contributor to the WSIS process. The Summit was an opportunity for ITU to highlight its activities and to launch new initiatives.

Latest WSIS News

News from the ITU SPU Newslog on World Summit on the Information Society  

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ITU called to play a key role in WSIS implementation

ITU is mentioned 28 times in the four output documents. ITU expertise is recognized and further work is encouraged in the field of International Internet Connectivity, Spam, Internet Governance, the development of indicators to measure the Information Society, and the “Connect the World” Initiative. ITU was asked to continue the Stocktaking exercise.

The Tunis Agenda for the Information Society calls for a strong ITU role in the post WSIS implementation mechanisms. It assigns the following tasks to ITU: 

  • Coordinator of Action Lines together with UNESCO and UNDP

  • Facilitator of Action Lines C.2 (Infrastructure) and C.5 (Security)

  • Co-facilitator of Action Lines C.1 (Governance and ICTs for Development), C.4 (Capacity Building), C.6 (Enabling environment), C.7 (ICT Applications) and C.11 (International and regional cooperation).

  •  Leading agency in the UN Group on the Information Society (UNGIS)

 It is expected that the WSIS outcomes will guide the Union in the years to come.

ITU Plenipotentiary Conference 06

During the Plenipotentiary Conference (PP) that took place in Antalya (Turkey) from 6 to 24 November 2006, Member States adopted a number of resolutions emphasizing the role of ITU in WSIS implementation and follow-up.
The Strategic Plan of the Union (2008-2011) contains a commitment to the implementation of the goals and objectives of WSIS, as one of the seven overall goals for the Union. The PP also mandated a study of the participation of all relevant stakeholders in the activities of the Union related to the WSIS.

ITU's Council considerations
  • Council 2005 adopted Resolution 1244 on ITU role in the Tunis phase of WSIS and in implementation and follow-up.

  • PP 06 requested the Council to maintain the Working Group on WSIS. The next meeting of the Group will be held on 13-14 June 2007 in Geneva. Meeting documents are available here.


ITU held its World Telecommunication Development Conference in Doha (Qatar) in March 2006. It offered a unique opportunity for ITU Member States to decide on key actions and to prepare for progress monitoring.

The Conference adopted the Doha Declaration and the Doha Action Plan which provide a framework for ITU-Development sector’s activities in the implementation of WSIS. It contains concrete programs to bridge the digital divide and 25 regional initiatives.




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Updated : 2007-04-02