15 September 2003


Draft Declaration, Action Plan to Be Focus of Negotiations

GENEVA, 12 September -- The third meeting of the Preparatory Committee for the first phase of the World Summit on the Information Society, meeting in Geneva from 15-26 September, will continue work on a draft Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action in order to harness the power of information and communication technologies as a tool for development and to create an information society that benefits all of humanity.  The draft Declaration and Action Plan will be submitted for the approval of Heads of State attending the Summit in December.

The dramatic development of information and communication technologies has revolutionized the way people work, interact and conduct their daily lives.  It has transformed the global economy and heralded a new and dynamic information society.  But it has also created a world of information 'haves' and 'have nots'.

Some 1,500 delegates from Member States, intergovernmental organizations, civil society, the private sector and the media are expected to attend the preparatory meeting, to be held at the Geneva International Conference Centre (CICG), 15, rue de Varembé.

Information society issues under discussion during the preparatory process and at the Summit include: global cyber-security, Spam, universal and affordable access to information and communication technologies, open source software, as well as information and communication technologies applications for e-health, e-learning, e-business, e-employment, e-environment and e-government.

Global targets for the action plan to be considered include:

  • All villages to be connected by 2010, with a community access point by 2015.
  • 90 per cent of the world's population to be within wireless coverage by 2010 and 100 per cent by 2015.
  • All universities to be connected by 2005, secondary schools by 2010 and primary schools by 2015.
  • All hospitals to be connected by 2005, and health centres by 2010.
  • All central governments departments to have a Web site and e-mail address by 2005 and all local governments departments by 2010.
  • All of the world's population to have access to domestic radio services by 2010 and domestic TV services by 2015.
  • The necessary technical conditions should be in place by 2010 to permit all world languages to be present and used on the Internet.

The Summit, to be held in two phases (Geneva, 10-13 December and Tunis, 16-18 November 2005), will bring together Heads of State, Executive Heads of the United Nations agencies, leaders of non-governmental organizations, civil society and industry, as well as media representatives.  The goal is to foster a clear statement of political will and concrete plan of action to shape the future of the global information society, and to promote the urgently needed access of all countries to information, knowledge and communication technologies for development.  The International Telecommunication Union has the lead role in its preparation.

For the text of the draft Declaration and Action Plan, and additional information on the Summit, please visit www.itu.int/wsis.

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