Tuesday, March 2, 2004

WSIS "informal discussion" in Tunis about Phase 2 Meeting

An informal meeting discussing the transition phase from WSIS Phase 1 to WSIS Phase 2 that took place from 02-03 March 2004 in Tunis. WSIS Phase 2 will be held in Tunisia in 2005 while Phase 1 concluded in Geneva, Switzerland last December 2003.

This Tunisia-initiated meeting was led by the country's Minister of Transport, Communication and Technology, with assistance from the Secretary of State of Information and Communication Technology. Several government, civil society organisations, representatives from the private sector, other international organisations and the United Nations Regional Commissions participated in the meeting.

Civil Society Bureau (CSB) representatives who attended that meeting came up with a comprehensive report on the issues and concerns discussed. However, Tunisia's government representatives made it clear that the conclusions made in that meeting are of a "non-official nature" because the discussion results, once posted in the different WSIS discussion channels, will still be up for further debate.

According to the CSB report, the meeting sought to a preliminary Phase 2 discussion around three themes (which were divided into working groups per theme), namely: 

1) the implementation of the Geneva Action Plan; 
2) the expected results of WSIS Phase 2; and 
3) the WSIS Phase 2 process.

Many points were considered in the implementation of the Action Plan but concern was how to go about the implementation, process, especially beyond Tunis. Another major concern about the first theme is the identification of the main actors and their respective roles.

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