United Nations  International Telecommunication Union  






World Summit on the Information Society — Tunis Phase
16-18 November2005, Tunis, Tunisia
A Summit of Solutions for ICT Development

Geneva, 1 November 2005 — With the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) set to begin in Tunis in just two weeks’ time, the global spotlight is now on strategies to bridge the digital divide and harness the power of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to spur progress towards the Millennium Development Goals.

WSIS is expected to welcome some 10’000 participants from UN agencies, governments, the private sector and civil society, including:

  • UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan
  • Heads of state, heads of government and political leaders from more than 45 countries
  • National delegations from more than 120 nations worldwide
  • Top-level executives from over 200 companies including Alcatel, Ericsson, France Telecom, Google, Huawei, Infosys, Intel, KDDI, Microsoft, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Skype, Sun Microsystems, Telefónica, WorldSpace and others
  • Senior representatives from leading ICT development organizations including Development Gateway, the Grameen Foundation, the MS Swaminathan Foundation and Telecoms Sans Frontières, along with a huge range of civil society entities
  • World-class Plenary speakers including Mr Craig Barrett (Chairman, Intel Corporation), Mr J.N. Cho (CEO, SK Telecom), Mr Jean-Philippe Courtois (President, International, Microsoft), Ms Shirin Ebadi (2003 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize), Dr Robert E. Kahan (co-inventor of the Internet’s TCP/IP protocol suite), Mr J.B. Levy (CEO Vivendi Universal), Mr Didier Lombard (CEO, France Telecom), Mr Masao Nakamura (CEO, NTT DoCoMo), Professor Nicholas Negroponte (Chairman, MIT Media Lab), and Mr Serge Tchuruk (CEO, Alcatel).

Go on “Virtual Assignment” and cover WSIS online

Journalists are urged to accredit for WSIS even if they are unable to travel to Tunis to attend the Summit in person.

That’s because, in line with the Summit’s theme of promoting the use of ICTs, the WSIS 2005 Summit Newsroom will allow journalists to go on “virtual assignment” to Tunis in four languages, providing almost instantaneous access to a range of WSIS information services including:

  • downloadable high-resolution photos of all the action, available within minutes
  • daily Event Highlights and press releases
  • live webcasts of all Summit Plenary sessions, Roundtables, High Level Panels and press conferences held in the WSIS Media Centre
  • access to key ITU ICT statistics and a wealth of background articles
  • privileged access to key ITU reports on the shape of the global and regional ICT industry.

Summit Highlights

Alongside the three days of Plenary sessions, highlights of Phase 2 of WSIS will include:

  • The launch of the $100 laptop machine developed by MIT’s Media Lab, which will serve as the cornerstone of the One Laptop Per Child global development initiative. The new machine will be unveiled at event hosted by the Media Lab’s Professor Nicholas Negroponte, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Mrs Nane Maria Annan
  • The ITU Connect the World Roundtable, featuring around 20 top-level representatives from government, the private sector and civil society, including EU Information Society Commissioner Vivianne Reding, CEOs and chairmen from leading global IT players including Mr N.R. Murthy of Infosys, ICT development pioneer Professor M. S. Swaminathan, and Mr Noah Samara of WorldSpace, along with heads of UN agencies and leaders of ICT-oriented civil society organizations
  • The launch of a ground-breaking new ITU report, The Internet of Things, at a media panel debate featuring senior technical gurus from Alcatel, KDDI, Microsoft, Nokia and Sun Microsystems
  • The ITU High-Level Panel, featuring ICT ministers from India, Mexico and the Republic of Congo, top level representatives from the European Commission, the Grameen Foundation and the Korea Agency for Digital Opportunity and Promotion, and senior executives from Nokia, Sentech and Skype
  • a programme of around 300 Parallel Events featuring presentations and debates by WSIS participants on topics central to the development of tomorrow’s Information Society
  • a 10’000m2 ICT4All exhibition, which will showcase the activities of more than 100 NGOs and private sector enterprises, focusing on developing and Least Developed Countries.

Concluding negotiations

The resumed session of PrepCom-3 will take place at Kram Palexpo, Tunis, from 13-15 November 2005, just ahead of the opening of the Summit.

This session of PrepCom-3 is expected to finalize all working documents of the Summit. Key agenda items include:

  • Internet governance
  • Financing mechanisms
  • WSIS follow-up and implementation

Further information on arrangements for the resumed PrepCom-3 can be found here.

Since space will be severely limited, journalists wishing to attend this event should contact the ITU Media Office without delay to reserve a place. Owing to lack of facilities in the meeting room, no live webcast will be possible.

Media Accreditation

Official media accreditation is compulsory to attend the Summit and/or resumed PrepCom-3. Details of the accreditation procedure and an online accreditation form can be found here.

All journalists intending to cover the World Summit on the Information Society and/or PrepCom-3 are strongly advised to complete their accreditation before arriving at the Registration and Badging Centre. While onsite accreditation is possible, it is likely to entail very lengthy processing delays.

Journalists will be able to collect their Media badges from Friday, 11 November 2005 at the WSIS Registration and Badging Centre, Boulevard du Leader Yasser Arafat, a few kilometres from Kram Palexpo and accessible by free direct shuttle from Tunis Carthage airport. Opening hours are 08:15 – 21:00, from 11 November – 18 November inclusive. When collecting their badges, pre-accredited journalists should ensure they have with them their letter from ITU confirming their accreditation, together with an internationally recognized photo identification document (passport or national identity card).

In addition, audio-visual journalists such as professional photographers and camera crews must obtain a temporary import permit for their equipment. Details can be found here .

Those already accredited for PrepCom-3 in Geneva do not need to reapply, but will need to collect a new badge from the WSIS Registration and Badging Centre.

For further information about the World Summit on the Information Society contact:

Ms Sarah Parkes,
Chief, Media Relations,
Tel: +41 22 730 6135,
Mr Sanjay Acharya
Communication Officer
WSIS Executive Secretariat
Tel: +41 22 730 5046



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Updated : 2005-11-07