World Summit on the Information Society


WSIS E-FLASH N°27,  2 OCTOBER 2006 (Summer-Autumn 2006)
  •  17 May 2006, World Information Society Day
    The first World Information Society Day was celebrated on 17 May 2006 in response to the WSIS call to raise awareness of the potential of ICT for the world’s inhabitants. 17 May also marks the inception of the International Telecommunication Union over 140 years ago in 1865. On this important occasion, the first ITU World Information Society Award was presented to two distinguished and eminent personalities whose outstanding personal contributions have furthered the cause of building a more inclusive and equitable Information Society and helped close the digital divide. The inaugural ITU Award was given to President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal and Professor Muhammad Yunus, Managing Director of Grameen Bank, Bangladesh.

  •  Cluster of WSIS-related events from 9-19 May 2006
    A cluster of WSIS-related activities took place over a 10-day period, 9-19 May 2006. Geneva was the venue for several significant steps being taken towards implementation and follow-up action on the World Summit on the Information Society. In keeping with the Tunis Agenda, ITU along with UNESCO and UNDP took the lead to facilitate implementation of the WSIS Plan of Action.

    Moderators/facilitators of WSIS Action lines, such as ITU, UNDP, UNCTAD, ILO and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs organized Action Line Facilitation (ALF) meetings to take the WSIS implementation process forward. The results of these meetings as well as the dates of new ALF meetings are available  at:

  •  1st Meeting of the UN Group on the Information Society (UNGIS), 14 July 2006
    Implementation of the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) gathered momentum with the launch of the United Nations Group on the Information Society (UNGIS). High level representatives of twenty-two UN agencies met on Friday, 14 July 2006 at ITU Headquarters in Geneva under the chairmanship of ITU Secretary-General Yoshio Utsumi to facilitate the process. UNGIS serves as an interagency coordinating mechanism within the UN system to implement the outcomes of WSIS. The Group will enable synergies aimed at resolving substantive and policy issues, avoiding redundancies and enhancing effectiveness of the system while raising public awareness about the goals and objectives of the global Information Society. UNGIS will also work to highlight the importance of ICTs in meeting the Millennium Development Goals.

  •  ECOSOC adopts resolution on the follow-up to WSIS and review of the Commission on Science and Technology for Development, 28 July 2006
    In a resolution (E/2006/L.37) passed on 28 July 2006, entitled “Follow-up to the World Summit on the Information Society and review of the Commission on Science and Technology for Development”, ECOSOC indicated how it will oversee the system-wide follow-up of the Summit outcomes, as requested in the Tunis outputs. This is in the context of the annual consideration by ECOSOC of the integrated and coordinated implementation and follow-up of major United Nations conferences. To this end, ECOSOC decided that the Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) will assist the Council as the focal point in the system-wide follow-up of WSIS. It was agreed that this would entail a strong development orientation and that the Commission would be strengthened in its substantive capacity through the effective and meaningful participation of Member States in its work. While preserving the inter-governmental nature of the Commission, ECOSOC decided that CSTD should make use of the successful multi-stakeholder approach that was pioneered by WSIS. During the next two sessions (2007 and 2008), the deliberations of CSTD will therefore be open not only to NGOs in consultative status with ECOSOC, but also, after approval by ECOSOC, to other interested NGOs and civil society entities. Those entities who wish to participate in the work of the Commission should apply for consultative status with ECOSOC. Business entities will also be able to participate in the work of the Commission, on approval by ECOSOC. The CSTD Secretariat will provide information about the approval procedures in due course.
    [Full text of the resolution...]

  •  UNESCO organizes consultations on post-WSIS action in Paris and Beijing in October 2006
    UNESCO is organizing a series of consultations from 16 to 22 October in Paris and Beijing at which partnerships for implementing a number of WSIS action lines are expected to be brokered.

    The action lines that the five consultations will cover are: access to information and knowledge, ethical dimension of the Information Society, e-learning, e-science, and media. For all of them, UNESCO was assigned the role of an “interim focal point”.

    The meetings are intended to facilitate the initial contacts and sharing of information among all stakeholders based on their priorities and expertise in the implementation of each Action Line. Also on the agenda is the establishment of a team of stakeholders for each Action Line, including the nomination of a facilitator for each team. Stakeholders are expected to agree on the working methods of the multi-stakeholder teams, including their activities and expected outcomes.

    The meetings are open to all WSIS stakeholders; those interested in participating are invited to register online.

    The consultation meetings on access to information and knowledge, ethical dimension of the Information Society, e-learning and media will take place 16 - 19 October 2006 at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France, whereas the meeting on e-science will be organized on 22 October 2006 in Beijing, China, in conjunction with the Annual Conference of the Committee on Data for Science and Technology (CODATA).

  •  Cluster of WSIS-related events 2007, Geneva , 15 to 25 May 2007
    As in 2006, a cluster of WSIS-related events will take place in Geneva 15 to 25 May 2007 and will include celebration of the second World Information Society Day. Several Action Line Facilitation meetings will take place during this period. More information on the cluster of events will be available on the WSIS website early 2007. These events will be open to all WSIS stakeholders.
  •  Other events:
    Internet Governance Forum, Athens (Greece), 30 October to 2 November 2006
    The first Internet Governance Forum will take place in Athens, Greece, 30 October to 2 November 2006. This meeting is open to all stakeholders. More information is available at and on the website of the host country.

    The Global Alliance for ICTs and Development launched at Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) 19-20 June 2006
    In a follow up to the recent decision of the Secretary-General of the United Nations (see UN press release), the inaugural meeting of the Global Alliance for ICT and Development was held 19-20 June 2006 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

    World E-Gov Forum, Issy-les-Moulineaux, (Paris-France), 18-20 October 2006
    The Forum calls for action to implement the “Universal Digital Citizenship Agenda” in line with the WSIS commitments. National Governments, Local Authorities, Experts and Business leaders will discuss hands-on projects and agree on common assessment tools. The programme includes plenary meetings, workshops and special events. Registration:




With best regards,