Friday, September 9, 2005

2nd phase of WSIS coming up soon!

The World Summit on the Information Society is held in two phases. The second phase of WSIS is taking place  in Tunis from 16 to 18 November 2005. ( Read more about WSIS here. (PS. I am not sure if I am able to attend, even though invited. I am hoping that I can take a side trip to Tunis from Dubai, while en route to Afghanistan.)

A bit of trivia about the 2 phases:

  • Both Switzerland and Tunisia proposed to be the host country of the Summit, Switzerland as the host country of ITU (ITU headquarters are in Geneva) and Tunis as the country that had proposed the resolution to hold a World Summit on the Information Society at the Plenipotentiary Conference of ITU in Minneapolis.
  • The Secretary-General of ITU, given this special situation, proposed to the ITU Council to hold the Summit in two phases, a novelty regarding UN Summits. The Council followed the argument of the Secretary-General of ITU. The Council considered that the advantage of two phases would allow to discuss information society issues once in the setting of a developed country and once in the setting of a developing country. Also, there was hope that holding a UN Summit in two phases would allow for a better implementation and follow-up. The second part of the Summit would also allow for follow-up on the first part.
  • The UN General Assembly, in Resolution 56/183, took note and approved the idea of holding WSIS in two parts. The Geneva and Tunis phase became thus part of the same Summit. 
  • Some civil society groups expressed alarm that the 2005 phase of the WSIS will be held in Tunisia, a country with serious human rights violation

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