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 NEWSROOM : ITU PRESS RELEASES

 No Human Being Should Be Left Behind

World Summit on the Information Society Intersessional Meeting, Paris 15-18 July 2003
Draft Declaration of Principles and Action Plan Refined

Geneva, 21 July 2003– More than 750 participants from governments, the private sector, intergovernmental agencies, civil society and the media attended the Intersessional Meeting of the World Summit on the Information Society hosted by UNESCO 15-18 July in Paris. The objective of the meeting was to refine the draft Declaration of Principles and the Draft Plan of Action that are to be adopted at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), which is being held under the patronage of the Secretary-General of the United Nations and hosted by the Governments of Switzerland (Geneva, December 10-12, 2003) and Tunisia (Tunis, November 16-18, 2005). The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is the lead organizer of WSIS with full support from the United Nations family. 

The President of the Preparatory Committee of the Summit, Adama Samassékou of Mali, reminded delegates of the importance of their mission to ensure that information and communication technologies “be put into the service of all people, regardless of language, culture, gender or geographic location.” He stressed “we are creating a path from the information society to a society of shared knowledge that will lead to greater solidarity among peoples and nations.” 

ITU, the United Nations specialized agency for telecommunications, called for a consensus to shape the international community’s response to the tremendous expectations raised by the emergence of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) as essential components for social and economic development. “In the information society, no human being should be left behind,” said Mr Yoshio Utsumi, Secretary-General of ITU, who noted that,  “bold decisions and bold actions are required, as the success of the Summit will be judged by measurable progress toward implementing the plan of action to be adopted in Geneva in December.” 

“It is important to highlight that this Summit is not about technology, it is about using the new tools of ICTs for development and to reach the Millennium Development Goals,” stated Mark Furrer, Director-General of OFCOM and Head of the Swiss Delegation at the intersessional meeting in Paris. “We have had a very positive meeting here,” he added, “with constructive discussions. We are harvesting the fruit of hard work that has gone into the preparatory process so far. We look forward to the meeting of the third PrepCom in Geneva in September 2003.” 

The Summit will address a broad range of issues including cyberspace policy concerns such as security and ‘Spam’, infrastructure development, the financing of universal access and how best to use ICT services and applications to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

 

About WSIS

The World Summit on the Information Society provides a unique opportunity for all key stakeholders to develop a common vision and understanding and to address the whole range of relevant issues related to the Information Society.

It aims to bring together Heads of State, Executive Heads of the United Nations agencies, non-governmental organizations, civil society entities, industry leaders and media representatives to foster a clear statement of political will and concrete plan of action to shape the future of the global information society and to promote the urgently needed access of all countries to information, knowledge and communication technologies for development.

The Summit has been endorsed by the UN General Assembly and will take place under the high patronage of Kofi Annan, UN Secretary-General, with the International Telecommunication Union taking the lead role in its preparation.

The Summit will be held in two phases: Geneva (10-12 December 2003) and Tunisia (16-18 November 2005)

 

 

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Updated : 2003-07-22