The draft WSIS texts are lengthy and detailed, and intellectual property (IP) issues play a comparatively small role overall, but the stakes are high enough to draw top government IP officials and industry lobbyists to the meetings. October 2005.
World Summit on the Information Society II - November 2005 The second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), a global event aimed to improve access by all countries to information, and communication technologies (ICTs) to promote development, will take place in Tunis from 16 to 18 November 2005.
The first Preparatory Meeting of the second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) was held at the Medina Conference Center (Centre des Congrès), Yasmine Hammamet, Tunisia, from 24-26 June 2004. The governments completed their work on June 27th 2004 with a broad agreement on the issues that should form the focus of the Tunis Summit and agreed on the structure of the preparatory process for the second phase.
PrepCom 1 had the task of defining:
- The issues of the Information Society that should form the focus of the Tunis Summit
- The shape the outcome of the Tunis Summit should take
- The way to reach the goals set in the Geneva Action Plan
Based on this broad framework, it was agreed that the focus of the preparatory process to the Tunis phase should be two-pronged: it should provide solutions on how to implement and follow up the Geneva decisions (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 and it should complete the unfinished business in Geneva on Internet Governance and Financing. The reports of the Task Force on Financing mechanisms and the report of the Working Group on Internet Governance would provide valuable inputs to the discussion. A consensus was also reached that the agreements reached in the Geneva phase should not be re-opened.
As for the output of the Tunis phase, it was agreed to have a final document (or documents) comprising a concise political part and an operational part aimed at translating the outcome of the work undertaken in the preparatory process into actionable items. Both the political and operational parts would reaffirm and enhance the commitments undertaken in the Geneva phase. The principles of inclusiveness, efficiency, transparency and cost-effectiveness were also endorsed along with a proposed roadmap to chart the way.
In order to pave the way for the negotiations in PrepCom 2, the President of PrepCom along with delegations, regional groups and the WSIS Executive Secretariat will prepare a document to serve as a basis for the discussions, taking into account the outcome of thematic, regional and other WSIS-related meetings.
The second PrepCom will take place in Geneva from 17 to 25 February 2005.
The Geneva phase has adopted a Declaration of Principles and a Plan of Action. In accordance with the decision taken during the Geneva phase on the preparations for the Tunis phase, and Para 29 of the Plan of Action, the PrepCom1 of the Tunis phase reviewed those issues of the Information Society that should form the focus of the Tunis phase of the WSIS and agreed on the structure of the preparatory process for the second phase. PDF file.
An intergovernmental Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) is responsible for the preparations for WSIS. The first PrepCom Meeting for the Tunis phase of the Summit will take place in Hammamet, Tunisia, from 24-26 June 2004.
Three things about South Asia’s participation in the PrepCom 2 at Geneva stand out. Firstily, there is a dichotomy between the governmental positions at WSIS and their attitude within their countries. Secondly, the civil society participants where almost entirely made up of what may be called the ICTD civil society sector, and finally there is complete absence of interactions between the government delegates and the civil society participants.
Olinca Marino from LaNeta, APC member in Mexico, has been following the WSIS process since its beginning. In this report she comments on the united front shown by Latin American governments at PrepCom 2 but notes that the front begins to fall apart significantly in two areas that civil society activists care passionately about - free software and
This is a collection of news and reports from the second preparatory meeting (PrepCom2) for the second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society that took place from 17-25 February 2005 in Geneva.
The WSIS PrepCom III of Phase II of the WSIS will take place from September 19-30 2005, and will be the last meeting for negotiation of the final Tunis documents. This document outlines briefly the documents that will be negotiated, how they will be negotiated, different opportunities for lobbying and the timetable for negotiations for PrepCom III. PDF format.
The third and last meeting of the Preparatory committee for the WSIS (PrepCom-3, 19 to 30 September 2005 - Geneve) has started. The upcoming two weeks will see major struggles around the hot topics Internet Governance and summit follow-up. This PrepCom will be decisive. If it fails, the whole summit might be seen as a four year long waste of time and money. The interesting question is also how to relate the WSIS to the general UN reform discussion that came to a preliminary conclusion at the MDG summit in New York. September 2005.
Civil society organisations stated that the decision to exclude non-governmental stakeholders from meaningful participation in the drafting groups is a a matter of principle, and will undermine the legitimacy of all outcomes of the WSIS. September 2005.
The uncertainty connected with the speculation about the final decision regarding the presence of civil society members in drafting groups has finally turned into an open confrontation. Civil society representatives read a formal protest statement at the end of the open plenary. The statement contained clear language about the exclusion of "non-governmental stakeholders from meaningful participation in the drafting groups" being "not acceptable as a matter of principle". September 2005
Encouragement for the use of free and open source software has worked its way into the draft texts being prepared for the November second phase of the WSIS. During the Third Preparatory Committee meeting (PrepComm-3), developing countries threatened to disagree if they perceived the modifications to throw the balance of the provision too far in the direction of proprietary models. But agreement appears to have been reached with only one notable modification: the addition of the phrase, “in ways that reflect the possibilities of different software models” after the reference to free and open source software. October 2005.
This is a collection of news and reports from the third preparatory meeting (PrepComm-3) for the second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society that took place from 19-30 September 2005 in Geneva.
The High Level Asia-Pacific Conference for the World Summit on the Information Society was held in Tehran from 31 May to 2 June 2005, jointly organized by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, UNESCAP, UNDP-APDIP, ITU. The Conference adopted the Tehran Declaration and the Regional Action Plan towards the Information Society for Asia and the Pacific and discussed follow up and implementation strategies/activities. The Conference also discussed progress made in between the first and second phases of WSIS, the issues of Internet governance and best practices of financial mechanisms for ICT for development.
The Brazilian government is convening the Regional Preparatory Ministerial Conference of Latin America and the Caribbean for the second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society, to be held in Rio de Janeiro, during 8-10 June 2005. Concurrently, seminars will be organized with a wide participation of civil society, academia and private sector on topics of relevance for building up the Information Society for the Regional Action Plan (eLAC2007).
The UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, UNESCO and the Government of Ecuador organized a preparatory meeting 4-6 May 2005 in Quito, Ecuador to prepare the Latin America and the Caribbean Action Plan (eLAC 2007) to be discussed in the LAC Regional Preparatory Conference for WSIS in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in June, 2005. Contributions to this document are available at this website.
Following the preparatory process for the second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society, the WSIS African regional meeting that takes place 2-4 February 2005 in Accra, aims to point out Africa´s main issues concerning the information society. For that purpose, the WSIS Gender Caucus has released a series of recommendations to integrate gender equality and women's rights into the discussions. Pdf document. February 2005.
The African Regional Preparatory Conference for the WSIS, 2-4 February, in Accra, Ghana, with the theme "Access - Africa’s key to an inclusive Information Society" will prepare Africa for an effective participation in the second phase of the WSIS. It aims at ensuring a strategic and interdependent digital partnership that will promote economic growth and human development of the continent.
The UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) is organizing the First Regional Conference which will be held from 11 to 13 October in Bangkok, Thailand. It will focus on the regional and national implementations of the outcomes of Geneva Phase as well as the formulation on draft of the Regional Plan of Action towards Information Society. Following this Conference, UNESCAP plans to hold four subregional meetings (Central Asia, Pacific, South-Asia and South-east Asia) to further discuss the Regional Action Plan and other issues reflect subregional prosperities and need. The outcomes of these conferences are, finally, planned to be submitted to a high-level regional conference to be held around end of the second quarter of 2005, which is expected to adopt the Action Plan and provide an input to the Tunis Phase of WSIS.
The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) is organizing the Second Western Asia Preparatory Conference for the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) to follow up on the first phase of WSIS held in Geneva (2003) and to prepare for its second phase in Tunis (2005). The Conference will be held in collaboration with international and regional organizations and prominent private sector institutions. It will review the latest actions taken in member countries to reduce the digital divide in light of the WSIS-Phase 1 outcome, agree on a regional plan of action with specific projects, and lead to strategic partnerships for their implementation. Although the primary focus of the Conference is on the ESCWA region, institutions and individuals from Arab countries are invited to participate in order to extend its outcome to the Arab World.
The purpose of this Symposium, held on 6 December 2004 in Cape Town, was to bring together African NGOs, technical experts and policy makers to discuss Privacy, WSIS and the policy development of Information and Communication Technologies. The symposium was organized by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) with the help of the WSIS Civil Society African Caucus, the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) and the Non-Commercial Users Constituency of ICANN (NCUC).
Morocco hosts an international conference on media issues as a follow-up to the WSIS. The Marrakech Conference is intended as a follow-up meeting to the 1st phase of the WSIS (Geneva 2003) and as a preparatory meeting for the 2nd phase (Tunis 2005).
From 7-9 July 2004 the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) hosted a meeting in Geneva to tackle spam. Spam is a major problem for developed countries but is even worse for developing and least developed countries (LDCs) where, because of limited available Internet resources, many users rely on free web-based e-mail services with limits on free storage, which are particularly targeted by spammers.