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 New team appointed to organize second phase of World Summit on the Information Society: Charles Geiger named Executive Director


Geneva, 1 November 2004 — Mr Yoshio Utsumi, Secretary General of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the agency charged with organizing the Summit, has announced the appointment of a team to organize the second phase to be held in Tunis from 16 to 18 November 2005. 

Mr Charles Geiger is appointed Executive Director of the WSIS Executive Secretariat, which is based at ITU Headquarters. In cooperation with the intergovernmental WSIS Bureau, he is charged with the overall planning and implementation of the organization of the Summit including its preparatory process. Mr Geiger, a Swiss national, was seconded by his government to the Executive Secretariat in 2001 and has been serving as Assistant Executive Director since January 2004. He will take up his new duties as of 1 November 2004. Prior to his appointment, Mr Geiger held senior positions in the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs and at the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). 

Other members of the team include three senior officials of ITU, namely Mr Art Levin, Chief of the ITU Coordination, External Relations and Communication Units, Dr Tim Kelly, Chief of ITU Strategy and Policy Unit, and Mr Fernando Lagraña, Executive Manager of ITU TELECOM. 

In addition to developing ITU’s overall strategy for the Summit and coordinating its participation, Mr Levin will be in charge of strategic relations with the High-Level Summit Organizing Committee and will lead the negotiations for the Host country agreement.

Dr Kelly will be in charge of the preparation of all input documents and will provide support to the Group of Friends of the Chair. He will also be responsible for the stocktaking of activities undertaken at national, regional and international levels to implement the Plan of Action adopted at the Geneva phase.
In close cooperation with the host country, Mr Lagraña will be responsible for the preparation and coordination of the logistics needed for such a large-scale, high profile Summit.

Working with Member States and Information Society partners, the organizing team will help build on the momentum gained in Geneva to create the framework for an equitable Information Society. 

Based on the principles crafted and agreed in Geneva and the Plan of Action that defined the top-level objectives to create an all-inclusive and equitable Information Society, the task of the second phase of the Summit will be to refine some of the broader goals and hammer out the specifics needed to translate them into measurable results. The Summit is expected to provide solutions on how to implement and follow up the Geneva decisions by stakeholders at the national, regional and international levels and complete the unfinished business in Geneva on Internet Governance and ICT Financing.

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