World Summit on the Information Society


WSIS E-FLASH N°23,  25 October 2005
  • WSIS PrepCom-3 held in Geneva
    The third meeting of the Preparatory Committee (PrepCom-3) of the Tunis phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) was held from 19 to 30 September 2005 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. The meeting was attended by 1’925 participants, which included 1’047 delegates representing 152 governments and the European Community. 152 participants represented 54 international organizations while 635 participants came from 200 NGOs or civil society entities and 73 participants from 36 entities representing business entities. In addition to the formal meetings of PrepCom-3, 31 parallel events were organized in the Palais des Nations building by international organizations, civil society and the private sector highlighting their WSIS-related activities.

  • PrepCom-3 suspended: a new round of negotiation meetings planned
    After two weeks of day and night sessions the participants of Prepcom-3 came to agreements on large sections of the Summit text, including some major developments in a multilateral approach to Internet governance. However, no consensus could be found on the future management and oversight mechanisms of the Internet or on the provisions for implementation and follow-up of the WSIS Action Plan. Outstanding issues also remain to be resolved in the political Chapeau of the Tunis output and in the chapter on financial mechanisms. The last Plenary meeting decided therefore to suspend the work of PrepCom-3 and to reconvene a Negotiation Group in Geneva ahead of the Tunis Summit and a back-to-back meeting in Tunis in order to resolve the remaining sticking points. For more information on the negotiation process at PrepCom-3, please go to the WSIS press release 

  • Intersessional Meeting of the Negotiation Group
    As mandated by PrepCom-3 the PrepCom Bureau, at its meeting on 7 October 2005, decided the dates of the intersessional negotiation work ahead of the Tunis Summit: Under the Chairmanship of the President of PrepCom, the Negotiation Group will meet in two consecutive sessions from 24 to 28 October 2005 in Geneva. In its first session, on 24 and 25 October 2005, the Group will try to find agreements on the Political Chapeau and on the paragraphs that remain within brackets in Chapter two (Financial Mechanisms) of the Operational Part. In its second session, from 26 to 28 October 2005, the aim will be to finalize the text in Chapters one (Implementation) and four (Follow-up) of the Operational Part of the documents of the Tunis phase. Based on the decision of the PrepCom Bureau, the negotiations will be open only to representatives of governments. The President of PrepCom will inform the observers on the status of negotiations.

  • Resumed PrepCom-3: back to back with the Tunis Summit
    The Prepcom Bureau decided that PrepCom-3 would be reconvened on Sunday, 13 November 2005, at 10.00 hours, in Tunis, for a three-day session until 15 November 2005. The resumed PrepCom-3 will begin with a short organizational Plenary meeting. The modalities of work will follow the Rules of Procedure of PrepCom, including the participation of observers in Plenary and Subcommittee meetings. More information on the resumed PrepCom-3 is available on the official WSIS website

  • WSIS Tunis Summit
    The second phase of WSIS will be held from 16 to 18 November 2005 at the PalExpo Kram in Tunis. The agenda and format of the Tunis Summit had been agreed at PrepCom-2 in February. In addition to the general debate in Summit Plenary Sessions, a number of Round Tables, High-Level Panels and Parallel Events, as well as media events, are planned during the week of the Summit. This format will emphasize the role of the private sector and civil society in shaping the new Information Society, providing Heads of State and Government with the opportunity to engage in public discussions on the future of the Information Society with prominent business and civil society leaders. Participants will also have the opportunity to see this multi-stakeholder collaboration works in practice at the Partnership Pavilion. 

  • Guidelines for the distribution of WSIS-related documentation at WSIS
    In light of the large volume of documentation made available to participants by participants and in order to ensure a smooth operational process, guidelines based on UN practice for world summits and for major UN events and meetings have been established. The guidelines can be found on the official WSIS website. 

  • Media arrangements for the Summit
    The Newsroom for the Tunis Summit is now available at: .
    The site contains a wide range of useful information to help journalists better understand the issues and work to be achieved by the Summit, including backgrounders and features, interesting statistics on the shape of the world’s ICT landscape, and illustrative materials such as photos and graphs.
    The site also includes information on the media services offered to facilitate the work of journalists at the event, and practical information on Media Pools and other arrangements. Sign-up forms for Pools will be available shortly for events that are restricted for space or security reasons.
    Journalists will also find information on arrangements for the import and parking of production trucks onsite, information to facilitate the import of radio, TV and photo equipment, as well as information on TV transmissions.
    During the event, extensive coverage of the Summit will be accessible from the Newsroom site, through live and archived webcasts, Daily Highlights, photos, press releases, and a press book providing an overview of coverage by media around the world. 
    Information on the media services available to assist Summit participants in their contact with the press can also be accessed from the site. 
    In particular, delegations will find the forms to nominate their Media Relations Officer (MRO) – a must to gain full access to WSIS media relations services and to ensure that accredited journalists know whom to contact for queries/requests relating to delegation's participation. 
    Nominating a Media Relations Officer is the key to successful media relations for all participants. Most media services will only be accessible to MROs, including information and forms for registering press events, booking press conferences, reserving pigeonholes in the Media Centre, reserving interview rooms and gaining access to the Media List.
    The Newsroom site also provides information on arrangements for VVIP and VIP media interviews, media coverage of arrivals at the airport and at PalExpo Kram, and more.
    The Newsroom site is currently under construction, and links will be activated as information becomes available. Bookmark the Newsroom now and visit it frequently to be kept up-to-date.

  • Parallel events at the Tunis Summit
    More than 230 parallel events are planned by civil society organizations, business entities and national delegations, comprising panels, workshops and discussions on a whole spectrum of issues relevant to the Summit agenda. They will take place in the PalExpo Kram alongside the official Summit. The Joint Committee on the Parallel Events has published now the final list of all selected parallel events on the offical WSIS website

  • WSIS Stocktaking Report
    A revised report of the stocktaking of WSIS-related activities was presented at PrepCom-3. The report aims to fulfil the dual purpose of providing an inventory of activities undertaken by governments and other stakeholders in implementing the Geneva decisions (the WSIS Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action) and taking stock of the progress made in building the Information Society. In line with the proposal the Swiss delegation made at PrepCom-2, the revised report is organized along the action lines of the Geneva Plan of Action. Its aim is not to be comprehensive or exhaustive, but rather to highlight a representative sample of the projects submitted, focusing on those of a multi-stakeholder nature and those involving cross-border cooperation. Furthermore, the report is intended to provide a portal to the database itself which contains all the submissions as well as supporting documentation. The finalized report will be released at the Tunis Summit.

  • WSIS Commitments Paper or “Golden Book”
    Following the initiative announced at PrepCom-2, and based on the decision of the PrepCom Bureau, the Executive Secretariat and ITU invite submissions concerning new commitments and initiatives that stakeholders have announced, or are planning to 
    announce, during the Tunis Phase of WSIS. The intention is to create a “Golden Book” to promote these new initiatives in a way that will complement those initiatives already underway, as recorded in the WSIS stocktaking database. More information is available on the official WSIS website

  • WSIS Exhibition: manual published on the website
    The “ICT4All” Exhibition will take place from 15 to 19 November 2005 at the PalExpo Kram. ICT4All aims to enrich the political core of WSIS by focusing on development dimension of information and communication technologies through a lively exhibition and interactive workshops. The Exhibitor Manual, presenting a useful tool for all exhibitors at the Kram, can be found at:  

  • New contributions to the WSIS Fund
    New financial contributions were announced at PrepCom-3 for the WSIS-2005 Fundraising Campaign, bringing the total raised to over CHF 4 million, or more than 80 per cent of the CHF 5 million campaign goal. Voluntary contributions from WSIS stakeholders are required to support core preparatory activities of the Tunis phase. For details, see the official WSIS website

  • Upcoming Side Events related to the second phase of WSIS, held outside the PalExpo Kram in Tunis: 

9-11 November 2005, Bilbao, Spain

The conference entitled “World Summit of Cities and Local Authorities and the role of Information Society”, organized by the Basque Government with the support of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) aims to establish a process of mobilization, consensus and formulation of the vision and proposals of Local Authorities for plans of action to build the Information Society. 

10-11 November 2005, Alexandria, Egypt

The WSIS side event “Libraries – the Information Society in Action”, is organized by the 
International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) in cooperation with the Bibliotheca Alexandria and supported by several sponsors. The side event will present some of the best practices from libraries around the world in the areas of health, education and training, media literacy, preservation of cultural heritage and disaster preparedness.   


13-15 November 2005, Tunis, Tunisia


The side event “Past, Present and Future (PPF) of Research in the Information Society” will examine the role of research and the production of knowledge in the Information Society, with special emphasis on developing areas of the world. Its core issues lie at the intersection of Science and Engineering, Information and Communication Technologies, and Development.




With best regards,