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World Summit on the Information Society: Background on Content and Themes

The purpose of the World Summit on the Information Society, as stated in UN Resolution 56/183, is to develop 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”.

In order to prepare for the two phases of the WSIS Summit, the first one held in Geneva in December 2003 and the second one in November 2005, a series of open-ended intergovernmental preparatory committees (PrepComs) have been organized to define the overall agenda for the Summit. An initial proposal on the themes of the Summit was prepared for consideration at the first PrepCom (1-5 July 2002) Word PDF [Español Word PDF, Français Word PDF]. At the end of the first PrepCom a number of themes were proposed, and new inputs were provided during an Informal Meeting on Content and Themes (16-18 September 2002).  

Following the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference in Marrakesh 2002, the fundamental role of ITU in providing a global perspective in regard to the Information Society was recognized by Member countries, which also stressed the importance of ITU as an active and relevant contributor to the WSIS process (Resolution 7). ITU's input to the WSIS Declaration of Principles and Action Plan can be clustered into three main categories: 

A. Access to ICTs for all

B. ICTs as a tool for economic and social development - meeting the Millennium Development Goals

C. Confidence and security in the use of ICTs

This website is dedicated to the proposed initial themes for the Summit (as they were prior to the first phase of the Summit) and is designed to provide background resources of WSIS.

See also "Visions of the Information Society" - a project run by the ITU Strategy and Policy Unit. The Visions website includes background resources, full-length publications, and conference information on key Information Society issues (e.g. network security, intellectual property rights, knowledge management, etc.).

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Updated : 2011-04-04