Mon, 15 Dec 2003 12:57:19 GMT

WSIS Highlights 12 December 2004.

Words For the End of a Beginning ÷ First Phase of WSIS Concludes

Following the smooth adoption of the Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action at 1800 hours on the last day of the Summit, Mr Yoshio Utsumi, Secretary-General summed up the end of the long road to Geneva ö an end which marks the beginning of the road to Tunis.

“It seems strange that an event that has taken five years to prepare is nearly over. This is not the beginning of the end though, but rather the end of the beginning ö the Summit is a process, not a product.”
 ÷ Mr Yoshio Utsumi, Secretary-General of ITU.

Achievements of the Summit ÷ From a Multi÷stakeholder Perspective

The Geneva phase of the Summit, which was attended by over 11,000 people, concluded with a final round÷up of speeches from each of the main stakeholder participants in the WSIS process. The meeting, which preceded the final adoption of the Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action, was chaired by Mr Daniel Couchepin, President of the Swiss Confederation.

Snapshot Round÷up of Concluding Remarks


“Our objective has been to offer a platform for the Summit. The events have been of great quality, and have opened up the wide range of themes for real discussion and action.”
 ÷ Ambassador Daniel Stauffacher, Delegate of the Swiss Federal Council for WSIS.

“The objective of the ICT for Development Platform (ICT4D), which continues one day beyond the end of the Summit · has been to allow a true debate, and to place ICTs on the map of the Summit as a tool for development, rather than an end in themselves.”
 ÷ Mr Walter Fust, Director-General, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

Cities and Local Authorities

“Cities and local authorities are in a prime position to extend ICTs to communities. Close collaboration is needed between cities in order to reduce the digital divide, particularly where the cities of the North, and those of the South are concerned.”
 ÷ Mr Gérald Collomb, Mayor of Lyon, France.

“The cities of Geneva and Lyon have decided, together with the Government of Senegal, to create a digital solidarity fund, with contributions already amounting to over 1 million Euros.” ÷ Mr Christian Ferrazino, Mayor of Geneva, Switzerland.


“In emerging economies, radio is the most important ICT. For the World Wide Web, WiFi today presents the most effective and rapid technology. Broadcasting needs editorial independence in the interests of its credibility.”
 ÷ Mr Jean Stock, President, World Electronic Media Forum (WEMF) Association.

ITU (Organizing Agency)

“The ITU Standardization Sector (ITU÷T) hosted a two-day CTO meeting to define principles for standards underlying next-generation ICTs. The meeting endorsed ITUâs central role in defining global standards for ICTs. In addition, no less than 21 partnerships have been signed by ITU during the Summit itself, for future work on projects in over 50 countries.”
 ÷ Mr Roberto Blois, ITU Deputy Secretary-General, speaker for ITU High÷level dialogue and related events.

Private Enterprise

“The CCBI organized events during WSIS that highlighted the potential of ICTs to change lives for the better. For this to happen though, the creativity and innovation of business requires the right environment, which governments can make happen.”
 ÷ Mr Richard McCormick, Past Chairman, International Chamber of Commerce.


“We need to capitalize on technologies by fostering education, knowledge and capacity-building. It is evident that ICTs have tremendous potential to boost education and training. At the Summit, UNESCO and the Swiss authorities have launched an initiative to scale up community centres in Mali, Mozambique and Senegal.”
 ÷ Mr Abdul Waheed Khan, Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information, UNESCO.


“Including womenâs perspectives will make the difference for a truly inclusive information society. We urge governments to respect the pledges they have made during the Summit and we will monitor implementation of the Plan of Action.”
 ÷ Ms Jillian Marcelle, Coordinator, WSIS Gender Caucus.

Scientific Community

“Access to scientific information via ICTs is a critical component of the information society. Software tools for dissemination of information must be freely available.”
 ÷ Professor Luciano Maiani, Director-General, European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN).

Disabled Community

“Six hundred million individuals in the world are disabled. An inclusive information society is not a dream for them, but a goal that has to be attained.”
 ÷ Dr Bernhard Heinser, Managing Director, Swiss Library for the Visually Impaired.


“Our discussions in collaboration with UNESCO have resulted in an agreement to establish a “Global Alliance of School Networks”.”
 ÷ Mr Ulf Lundin, Director, European Schoolnet.


“We have created a variety of resources for the Summit, including a website and the development of a volunteers action plan 2003÷2005. The Summit process has been encouraging, but we need to further strengthen collaboration between the volunteer community, governments and other stakeholders.”
 ÷ Ms Viola Krebs, Director, International Conference Volunteers.

TELECOM World Youth

“The world we live in is not fair at this moment. Some of us benefit daily from the empowering force of ICTs while others, to whom simple communication could mean the difference between life and death, hope and downheartedness, a sparkling future and stagnation, do not have access to any form of ICTs.

This is not our destiny. Young people have united and urge you to join them in building the fundamentals for the Digital Bridge.

Actions not words! How wonderful our lives will be, if only we all play our part.”
 ÷ Mr Sjoerd Nikkelen and Ms Paula Musuva, reading from the Youth Declaration from TELECOM.

Indigenous People

“Indigenous people are part of the peoples of nations, not a problem or an afterthought, and as such need to be taken into account and included in the information society.”
 ÷ Mr Henrick Ole Magga, Chair, Global Forum of Indigenous People in the Information Society.

WSIS Youth

“Young people constitute the majority of the worldâs population. The paradox is that they are often the most excluded and disadvantaged. Youth Day has demonstrated how young people can be, and are, catalysts for the information society. We are pleased that our work has resulted in the strongest language ever in a United Nations document relating directly to youth.”
 ÷ Mr Alex Fielding, WSIS Youth Liaison, TakingITGlobal.


“Governments need to create trust in the mechanisms of e-trade. Small traders in particular, need to know how to use ICTs for e÷commerce.”
 ÷ Mr Denis Belisle, Executive Director, International Trade Centre.

Scientific Information

“Speakers during the ÎFree software, free societyâ event, including high-level scientific and engineering experts, recognized the importance of WSIS. We need to work towards a sustainable knowledge society, with free access to scientific information.”
 ÷ Mr Francis Muguet, Chairman of the Civil Society Scientific Information Working Group.

UNICT Task Force

“At one of the executive roundtables, 37 leaders from all sectors were in consensus on the need for a multi÷stakeholder approach to the major issues relating to the information society.”
 ÷ United Nations ICT Task Force.


“Governments cannot implement the actions agreed in Geneva alone. A platform is therefore foreseen for ongoing exchange during the coming months via WSIS-Online.”
 ÷ Mr Bertrand Lachapelle, Co-convenor, Open WSIS Initiatives.

WSIS Media Office

[ITU Strategy and Policy Unit Newslog]