CPSR@WSIS in Tunis, 16-18 November 2005
CPSR@WSIS in Tunis, 16-18 November 2005
The second World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) took place in Tunis, 16-18 November 2005. According to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), which served as the United Nations’ lead organizer for the WSIS, the Summit was attended by 19,401 people, including 5,857 delegates from 174 governments and the European Community; 1,508 delegates from 92 international organizations; 6,241 delegates from 606 civil society organizations; 4,816 delegates from 226 business sector entities; and 979 people from 642 media organizations. The Summit concluded the WSIS process that began in the summer of 2002, and released two new documents that were negotiated by government, private sector, and civil society participants during the preparatory process. The most important of these, the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society, includes the hard-fought agreements on Internet governance, financing of ICT for development, and follow-up and implementation for the WSIS process. The Tunis Commitment is a brief reaffirmation of governments’ diplomatic commitments to promote the objectives contained in the other documents. In addition, the Summit also reaffirmed and re-released the Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action adopted by the first WSIS held in Geneva in December 2003. A huge amount of information about the WSIS, including the abovementioned documents, press releases, negotiation texts, and inputs from participants in the process, is available on the ITU’s WSIS website, www.itu.int/wsis/
CPSR was an active participant from the beginning of the WSIS process in 2002. Some illustrations:
CPSR sent delegations of about two dozen people to both the December 2003 Summit in Geneva and the November 2005 Summit in Tunis;
CPSR members collaborated closely with other individuals and organizations in the broad civil society coalition that worked to promote global public interest objectives in the WSIS process;
CPSR members participated in the drafting of civil society position statements and summit documents, made formal interventions on behalf of civil society participants, and lobbied government delegates at a number of the Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) negotiation sessions;
CPSR members gave presentations at a number of related meetings, including: WSIS regional preparatory conferences; UN Information and Communication Technologies Task Force global forums and working group meetings; Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations information sessions; United Nations Development Programme training events; and parallel events held throughout the WSIS process that were sponsored by other civil society organizations, national governments, and international organizations;
CPSR hosts the listserv of the civil society Internet Governance Caucus, which has swelled to almost three hundred participants from all sectors (civil society/business/government/international organizations) and become the most vibrant and important open forum for online dialogue concerning the broad terrain of Internet governance;
Two CPSR members, Bill Drake and Avri Doria, were
appointed by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to the Working Group on
Internet Governance (WGIG) and were centrally involved in producing the
WGIG Report and WGIG Background Report
that figured prominently in the
negotiations and helped pave the way to a global political deal on
Internet governance in Tunis. In addition, Bill Drake edited a
book that was released at the Tunis Summit and contains contributions
from over two dozen members of the WGIG and its leadership and
secretariat, Reforming Internet Governance: Perspectives from the UN
Working Group on Internet Governance (New York: United Nations
Information and Communication Technologies Task Force, 2005).
CPSR organized a number of parallel or side-events during the PrepComs and the two Summits, e.g.
Global Communications Governance, parallel event at the Second Preparatory Committee meeting for the World Summit on the Information Society, Geneva; 17-28 February 2003.
Global Governance of ICT: Public Interest Considerations, parallel event at the World Summit on the Information Society, Geneva; 10-12 December 2003.
The Internet Governance Forum Function, parallel event at the Third Preparatory Committee meeting for the World Summit on the Information Society, Geneva; 18-29 September 2005.
The Internet Governance Oversight Function, parallel event at the Third Preparatory Committee meeting for the World Summit on the Information Society, Geneva; 18-29 September 2005.
Cybercrime & Censorship in Middle East and North Africa, parallel event (co-sponsored by Human Rights Watch) at the World Summit on the Information Society, Tunis; 16-18 November 2005.
Reforming the Internet Governance: Perspectives from the Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG)---Book Release, parallel event (co-sponsored by WGIG Secretariat) at the World Summit on the Information Society, Tunis; 16-18 November 2005.
Role of Computer Science and Engineering Professions in Helping to Realize the WSIS Benchmarks, parallel event at the World Summit on the Information Society, Tunis; 16-18 November 2005.
Going forward, CPSR members will remain involved in the United Nations
dialogues on the global information society and Internet governance, in
particular by participating in the WSIS implementation and follow-up
initiatives, the Global Alliance for ICT and Development, and the
Internet Governance Forum.
Last modified December 16, 2005 01:27 PM