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 Key points of WSIS Declaration of Principles

1. The Declaration recognizes that ICTs are an essential foundation for an inclusive Information Society and embraces the idea of universal, accessible, equitable and affordable ICT infrastructure and services as a key goal of all stakeholders that will help build it. 

2. Boosting trust and confidence in ICTs including information and network security, authentication, privacy and consumer protection have been underscored as a prerequisite for the development of the Information Society. 

3. ICTs are also important tools for good governance. The Declaration stresses the need to create an enabling environment at the national and international level based on the rule of law with a supportive, transparent, pro-competitive, technologically neutral and predictable policy and regulatory framework.

4. If universal access is the foundation of a true Information Society, capacity building is its motor. The declaration acknowledges that only by inspiring and educating populations unfamiliar with the Internet and its powerful applications will the fruit of universal access ripen. 

5. They also recognize that resources must be channelled to marginalized and vulnerable groups, to ensure adoption and empower them. 

6. Indeed, the Declaration reaffirms the universality and indivisibility of all human rights as fundamental freedoms in the Information Society, along with democracy and good governance. 

7. On the question of Intellectual Property, the Declaration underlines the importance of both encouraging innovation and creativity and the need to share knowledge to spur such innovation and creativity. 

8. Key principles also include the respect for cultural and linguistic diversity as well as tradition, religion. On the Internet in particular, that translates to multilingual, diverse and culturally appropriate content. 

9. As for Internet management, involving all stakeholders and intergovernmental organizations to address both technical and public policy issues has been underscored. But, overall, the global Internet governance issue was too complex to resolve in detail. Agreement was therefore reached to set up an open and inclusive working group on Internet governance to investigate and make proposals for action prior to the second phase of the Summit in 2005.

10. The principles of freedom of the press, independence, pluralism and media diversity are also upheld.

11. And finally, the Declaration expresses an unconditional support and commitment to close the Digital Divide through international cooperation among all stakeholders.


Full text of the Declaration of Principles ╗



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Updated : 2004-03-11