The Summit: Content, themes, and outcome
UN General Assembly Resolution 56/183 describes the purpose of the Summit as being the “development of a common vision and understanding of the Information Society and the adoption of a declaration and plan of action for implementation by Governments, international institutions and all sectors of civil society”.
Providing access to ICTs for all
How can the benefits of ubiquitous and affordable ICTs be extended to all the world’s inhabitants? How can those that have access to ICTs be helped to use them effectively?
II) ICTs as a tool for economic and social development - and meeting the Millennium Development Goals
The development of ICTs has implications for economic, social and cultural development. How can ICTs be leveraged to help promote the common goals of humanity, such as those expressed in the UN Millennium Declaration?
III) Confidence and security in the use of ICTs
The benefits of ICTs can only be fully harnessed if there is confidence that these technologies and networks are reliable and secure, and are not misused. What steps should be taken to build confidence and increase security?
The WSIS documents deal with a number of issues for the fulfillment of these objectives. These include:
1. Information and communication infrastructure: financing and investment, affordability, development and sustainability
2. Access to information and knowledge
3. The role of governments, the business sector and civil society in the promotion of ICTs for development
4. Capacity building: human resources development, education and training
6. Enabling environment
7. Promotion of development-oriented ICT applications for all
8. Cultural identity and linguistic diversity, local content and media development
9. Identifying and overcoming barriers to the achievement of the Information Society with a human perspective
for the complete documents of the Declaration of Principles and Plan of
The outcome of the Summit was to develop and foster a clear statement of political will and a concrete plan of action for achieving the goals of the Information Society, while fully reflecting all the different interests at stake. The scope and nature of this ambitious project will require partnerships with public and private entities, and many such partnerships were formalized during the Geneva Summit. Some were specifically targeted at bridging the digital divide. Efforts are now being made to put the Action Plan into motion as well as to find acceptable solutions for Internet governance. The Digital Solidarity Fund has attracted pledges of about Euro 1 million with contributions from the Cities of Geneva and Lyon, the region of Turin, and the Government of Senegal, but more remains to be done in the area of financing.