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 BASIC INFORMATION : ABOUT WSIS
 
 Overview
 

The UN General Assembly Resolution 56/183 (21 December 2001) endorsed the holding of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in two phases. The first phase took place in Geneva from 10 to 12 December 2003 and the second phase took place in Tunis, from 16 to 18 November 2005.

Geneva Phase: 10-12 December 2003

The objective of the first phase was to develop and foster a clear statement of political will and take concrete steps to establish the foundations for an Information Society for all, reflecting all the different interests at stake.

Nearly 50 Heads of state/government and Vice-Presidents, 82 Ministers, and 26 Vice-Ministers from 175 countries as well as high-level representatives from international organizations, private sector, and civil society attended the Geneva Phase of WSIS and gave political support to the Geneva Declaration of Principles and Geneva Plan of Action that were adopted on 12 December 2003. More than 11,000 participants from 175 countries attended the Summit and related events.

Tunis Phase: 16-18 November 2005

The objective of the second phase was to put Geneva's Plan of Action into motion as well as to find solutions and reach agreements in the fields of Internet governance, financing mechanisms, and follow-up and implementation of the Geneva and Tunis documents.

Nearly 50 Heads of state/government and Vice-Presidents and 197 Ministers, Vice Ministers and Deputy Ministers from 174 countries as well as high-level representatives from international organizations, private sector, and civil society attended the Tunis Phase of WSIS and gave political support to the Tunis Commitment and Tunis Agenda for the Information Society that were adopted on 18 November 2005. More than 19,000 participants from 174 countries attended the Summit and related events.

 

 Background and Organization
 

Preparatory Process

Taken individually, each phase of the Summit marked the culmination of many months of consultations and negotiations among Member States, UN experts, the private sector, and non-governmental representatives, who reviewed vast amounts of information and shared a broad spectrum of experiences in issues related to the Information Society. These consultations and negotiations took place prior to the Summit itself and constituted the Preparatory Process.

Organization

A High-Level Summit Organizing Committee (HLSOC) was established under the patronage of Kofi Annan, UN Secretary-General. Its purpose was to coordinate the efforts of the international United Nations family in the preparation, organization and holding of WSIS. The UN agency holding the leading role in the organization of the Summit was the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), based in Geneva (Switzerland). An Executive Secretariat (WSIS-ES) based at the ITU headquarters was established under the authority of the HLSOC to assist in the preparation of the Summit. The host countries, Switzerland and Tunisia, also established Executive Secretariats.

Participation

WSIS, while recommending representation from governments at the highest level also invited participation of all relevant UN bodies and other international organizations, non-governmental organizations, private sector, civil society, and media to establish a truly multi-stakeholder process.

 

 

 

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Updated : 2006-01-17