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// Introduction // WSIS Stocktaking exercise // WSIS Golden Book - Tunis 2005 // Looking forward //


The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Stocktaking and the Golden Book exercises were launched as part of the WSIS preparatory process, overseen by the WSIS PrepComs. They follow on from an initiative that ITU itself had undertaken (called for in PP-02 Decision 8) to provide an information document on its activities and to undertake a stocktaking of its WSIS-related activities. ITU and the WSIS-ES established the Stocktaking database and website portal to provide a global platform for the presentation, exchange, and dissemination of information on efforts promoting the development of the Information Society at the local, national, regional and global level. This need was recognised during the Tunis Phase of the Summit, when stakeholders gave a mandate to ITU to continue to maintain the stock taking database as part of the work of follow-up and implementation of the Summit (see paragraph 120 of the Tunis Agenda).

The sharing of information related to the implementation of WSIS outcomes is an important element of evaluation. We note with appreciation the report on the Stocktaking of WSIS-related activities, which will serve as one of the valuable tools for assisting with the follow-up, beyond the conclusion of the Tunis Phase of the Summit, as well as the “Golden Book” of initiatives launched during the Tunis phase. We encourage all WSIS stakeholders to continue to contribute information on their activities to the public WSIS stocktaking database, maintained by ITU. In this regard, we invite all countries to gather information at the national level with the involvement of all stakeholders, to contribute to the stocktaking.

Tunis Agenda, paragraph 120

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WSIS Stocktaking exercise

During the first Preparatory Meeting (PrepCom-1) of the Tunis Phase of WSIS, held in Hammamet, 24-26 June 2004, the main focus of the Tunis Phase was decided as the “follow-up and implementation of the Geneva Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action by stakeholders at national, regional and international levels, with particular attention to the challenges facing the Least Developed Countries" (WSIS-II/PC-1/DOC/5). This involved undertaking a stocktaking of the implementation of WSIS by governments and all stakeholders. The WSIS Stocktaking exercise serves the dual purpose of providing an inventory of activities being implemented by governments and other stakeholders in response to the Geneva and Tunis decisions, and of tracking the progress made in building the Information Society.

The WSIS Executive Secretariat, in collaboration with ITU’s Strategy and Policy Unit, launched the Stocktaking of WSIS-related activities in October 2004. The Secretary-General of ITU sent a letter and questionnaire to all stakeholders inviting them to inform the WSIS Executive Secretariat of all their activities and projects related to the implementation of the Geneva Plan of Action.

On the basis of the submissions received from all stakeholders, a database of WSIS-related activities was constructed. By the start of 2006, the database contained details of over 2’600 WSIS-related activities, including project descriptions, links to detailed documentation and contact information. The functional search engine of the database can sort and search entries by various criteria, e.g. by WSIS action line, and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), by the nature of the implementing agency, geographical coverage, keywords, etc. An online data entry tool is available on this website for stakeholders to submit new activities or to update their earlier entries.

The website and database, maintained by ITU, are intended to be further developed as a dynamic, ongoing, free and user-friendly resource open to all WSIS stakeholders, as well as to a wider audience. The WSIS Stocktaking on the web gives the opportunity to exchange and disseminate ideas and experiences through access to thematic pool resources. The facility also encourages multi-stakeholder partnerships by offering networking information and contact details of potential partners.

As called for in the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society, adopted on 18 November 2005, the Stocktaking database and activities remain open for new submissions, and will be updated to provide a permanent record of the implementation of the WSIS. The WSIS Stocktaking has proven itself a forward-looking initiative, tracking the implementation of the WSIS goals.

All entries to the WSIS Stocktaking database received by 5 October 2005 were used as the source material for the Report on the WSIS Stocktaking. The final version of the Report was officially launched during the Tunis Phase on 16 November 2005 and was well-received by the Summit, which noted it with appreciation (see the Tunis Agenda, para 120). The Tunis outcome documents call for greater exchange of information, and in particular for contributions concerning important new initiatives in WSIS implementation, to the Stocktaking database. The Report on the WSIS Stocktaking gives a brief summary of the many projects and initiatives being implemented at the local, national and international levels around the world, with a special focus on multi-stakeholder partnerships as an important means of mainstreaming ICTs in all aspects of life. The Report is intended to showcase successful experiences assisting developing countries at all levels, but it also directs readers to the richer and continually updated information available in the database. Future editions of the WSIS Stocktaking Report should prove a valuable tool for WSIS follow-up (see the Tunis Agenda, para 120), and will continue to track progress made in building the Information Society.

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WSIS Golden Book - Tunis 2005

PrepCom-2 of the Tunis Phase, held in Geneva in February 2005, mandated the Intergovernmental Bureau of the Preparatory Committee to consider the proposal by Switzerland to present to the Summit a “Stocktaking implementation” report and a “stakeholder commitments” paper. The Bureau accepted the Swiss proposal in August 2005. At the proposal of the President of the PrepCom of the Tunis Phase, the Latvian Ambassador Janis Karklins, the initiative to detail stakeholder commitments announced or planned to be announced during Tunis was entitled the Golden Book.

The Golden Book project was launched in October 2005. It complements the WSIS Stocktaking exercise, as it focuses specifically on new projects conceived or undertaken during the Tunis Phase of WSIS, as well as on new financial commitments for activities related to WSIS implementation. The intention is to mobilize and promote commitments, and raise awareness of them and their profile in the media.

All stakeholders were invited to share information on their new WSIS-related projects and initiatives and to make public their commitments, planned or underway, with details of deadlines, financial engagements and the activities undertaken. The deadline for contributions expired on 20 January 2006; however, late entries were still accepted until 31 January 2006.

At the end of January 2006, the Golden Book had registered more than 350 entries; of which, one third of the entries came from international organisations; a second third from governments; and the remaining commitments were submitted by civil society, business and other entities. A special target of the Golden Book initiative, given the ambitious, but achievable, goal of bridging the digital divide, was to measure the financial commitments undertaken by stakeholders. They were requested to indicate the value of their new initiatives that will allow an approximate estimation of their overall value. 

The ITU has been actively analyzing both the WSIS Stocktaking and the Golden Book databases in order to promote significant ongoing and forward-looking activities that encourage implementation of WSIS goals. The Golden Book will remain an enduring legacy of WSIS, and should serve as a milestone for tracking progress towards building the Information Society.

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Looking forward

The WSIS recognized the importance of the Golden Book and the WSIS Stocktaking exercise during the Tunis Phase and encouraged ITU to continue its activities in this field. The ITU will continue these valuable exercises in future by:

  • Maintaining and improving the Internet-based Stocktaking Database;

  • Encouraging all WSIS stakeholders to submit descriptions of projects;

  • Establishing the necessary links to other moderators/facilitators to share and exchange information efficiently;

  • Raising awareness of the content of the database among all WSIS stakeholders through greater information and publicity;

  • Developing analytical tools and materials emphasizing countries’ experiences and best practices;

  • Regular publication of future editions of the Stocktaking Report to present the efforts of all stakeholders in WSIS implementation and the further development of the Information Society.

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WSIS Stocktaking Report

By 10 April 2006
Number of all projects in the Stocktaking Database: 3009

Breakdown by WSIS action line
Breakdown by stakeholder
Breakdown by geographical coverage
Breakdown by region
Breakdown of projects with partnerships by entity
Share of projects with partnerships
The Golden Book



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Updated : 2006-08-25