UNITED NATIONS December 2005 OUTCOME DOCUMENTS DOCUMENTS OUTCOME WSIS

2228 days ago

UNITED NATIONS
December 2005
OUTCOME DOCUMENTS
DOCUMENTS OUTCOME WSIS

World Summit on the
Information Society
Outcome Documents
Geneva 2003 – Tunis 2005
December 2005
I n t e r n a t i o n a l Te l e c o mmunic a t i o n U n i o n
UNITED NATIONS
© ITU, 2005
International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Geneva
All rights reserved. Denominations and classifi cations employed in this publication do not
imply any opinion on the part of the International Telecommunication Union concerning
the legal or other status of any territory or any endorsement or acceptance of any
boundary. Where the designation “country” appears in this publication, it covers countries
and territories.
Table of Contents
Foreword …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 5
Geneva Declaration of Principles …………………………………………………………………….. 7
A. Our Common Vision of the Information Society …………………………………….. 9
B. An Information Society for All: Key Principles ……………………………………….. 14
C. Towards an Information Society for All Based on
Shared Knowledge …………………………………………………………………………………………………. 23
Geneva Plan of Action ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 25
A. Introduction ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 27
B. Objectives, Goals and Targets …………………………………………………………………………. 28
C. Action Lines ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 31
D. Digital Solidarity Agenda …………………………………………………………………………………… 50
E. Follow-up and Evaluation …………………………………………………………………………………… 52
F. Towards WSIS Phase 2 (Tunis) …………………………………………………………………………. 53
Tunis Commitment ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 55
Tunis Agenda for the Information Society ………………………………………………….. 65
A. Introduction ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 67
B. Financial Mechanisms for Meeting
the Challenges of ICTs for Development…………………………………………………….. 67
C. Internet Governance …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 75
D. Implementation and Follow-up ……………………………………………………………………….. 86
Annex ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 97

It is my great privilege to present the outcome documents from the World Summit on the
Information Society (WSIS), which was held in two phases in Geneva, 10-12 December 2003
and in Tunis, 16-18 November 2005. This Summit represents a milestone, not only for the
United Nations and the International Telecommunication Union, which played the leading
managerial role in the Summit, but for all stakeholders involved. WSIS is a bold attempt to
address the issues raised by information and communication technologies (ICTs) through a
structured and inclusive approach.
Our society is changing radically as ICTs become a bigger part of our lives. It is changing in
ways unimaginable seven years ago, when the Summit was fi rst proposed by Tunisia at the
1998 ITU Plenipotentiary Conference. During those seven years, the Internet has increased
in size ten-fold, while the number of mobile phone users has now grown to over two billion.
I am proud to say that we are now in a better position to address these changes as a result
of this agenda-setting Summit.
The Summit has achieved a common understanding of the key principles that will determine
our ability to harness the potential of ICTs. In Geneva in 2003, world leaders shared the vision
of a people-centred, development-oriented and inclusive Information Society, and committed
to the Plan of Action setting out targets to be achieved from 2003. More than 2500 projects
have been launched in the framework of the Summit, and these are recorded in the WSIS
Stocktaking database and report, which will continue to be maintained by ITU.
In 2005, governments reaffi rmed their dedication to the foundations of the Information
Society in the Tunis Commitment and outlined the basis for implementation and follow-up
in the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society. In particular, the Tunis Agenda addresses
the issues of fi nancing of ICTs for development and Internet governance that could not be
resolved in the fi rst phase. On Internet governance, the Tunis Agenda foresees the creation of
a new Internet Governance Forum, which will carry the work forward.
The Summit has been notable in its adoption of a multi-stakeholder approach, and this is
now carried forward in the implementation phase with the direct involvement of civil society
and the private sector alongside governments and international organizations. The ITU-led
Connect the World initiative is a good example of the role of multi-stakeholder partnerships
in bridging the digital divide.
It is my hope that the lasting legacy of the World Summit on the Information Society will be
the vision of an inclusive Information Society, in which everyone has the means to express
their ideas, and be heard. For then, we will know that WSIS has truly succeeded in what it set
out to achieve.
Yoshio UTSUMI
Secretary-General of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)
Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
www.itu.int/wsis/
FOREWORD

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Declaration of Principles
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DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES
GENEVA
8 World Summit on the Information Society
9
Declaration of Principles
World Summit on the Information Society
Building the Information Society:
a global challenge in the new Millennium
A. Our Common Vision of the Information Society
1. We, the representatives of the peoples of the world, assembled in Geneva
from 10-12 December 2003 for the fi rst phase of the World Summit on the
Information Society, declare our common desire and commitment to build a
people-centred, inclusive and development-oriented Information Society, where
everyone can create, access, utilize and share information and knowledge, enabling
individuals, communities and peoples to achieve their full potential in promoting
their sustainable development and improving their quality of life, premised on the
purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and respecting fully
and upholding the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
2. Our challenge is to harness the potential of information and communication
technology to promote the development goals of the Millennium Declaration, namely
the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger; achievement of universal primary
education; promotion of gender equality and empowerment of women; reduction
of child mortality; improvement of maternal health; to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria
and other diseases; ensuring environmental sustainability; and development of
global partnerships for development for the attainment of a more peaceful, just
and prosperous world. We also reiterate our commitment to the achievement
of sustainable development and agreed development goals, as contained in
the Johannesburg Declaration and Plan of Implementation and the Monterrey
Consensus, and other outcomes of relevant United Nations Summits.
3. We reaffi rm the universality, indivisibility, interdependence and interrelation of
all human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the right to development, as
enshrined in the Vienna Declaration. We also reaffi rm that democracy, sustainable
development, and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms as well
as good governance at all levels are interdependent and mutually reinforcing.
We further resolve to strengthen respect for the rule of law in international as in
national affairs.
10 World Summit on the Information Society
Geneva 2003
4. We reaffi rm, as an essential foundation of the Information Society, and as
outlined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, that everyone
has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; that this right includes freedom
to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information
and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. Communication is a
fundamental social process, a basic human need and the foundation of all social
organization. It is central to the Information Society. Everyone, everywhere should
have the opportunity to participate and no one should be excluded from the benefi ts
the Information Society offers.
5. We further reaffi rm our commitment to the provisions of Article 29 of the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, that everyone has duties to the community
in which alone the free and full development of their personality is possible, and
that, in the exercise of their rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to
such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due
recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the
just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic
society. These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the
purposes and principles of the United Nations. In this way, we shall promote an
Information Society where human dignity is respected.
6. In keeping with the spirit of this declaration, we rededicate ourselves to
upholding the principle of the sovereign equality of all States.
7. We recognize that science has a central role in the development of the
Information Society. Many of the building blocks of the Information Society are the
result of scientifi c and technical advances made possible by the sharing of research
results.
8. We recognize that education, knowledge, information and communication are
at the core of human progress, endeavour and well-being. Further, information
and communication technologies (ICTs) have an immense impact on virtually all
aspects of our lives. The rapid progress of these technologies opens completely
new opportunities to attain higher levels of development. The capacity of these
technologies to reduce many traditional obstacles, especially those of time and
distance, for the fi rst time in history makes it possible to use the potential of these
technologies for the benefi t of millions of people in all corners of the world.
9. We are aware that ICTs should be regarded as tools and not as an end in
themselves. Under favourable conditions, these technologies can be a powerful
instrument, increasing productivity, generating economic growth, job creation and
employability and improving the quality of life of all. They can also promote dialogue
among people, nations and civilizations.
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Declaration of Principles
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10. We are also fully aware that the benefi ts of the information technology
revolution are today unevenly distributed between the developed and developing
countries and within societies. We are fully committed to turning this digital divide
into a digital opportunity for all, particularly for those who risk being left behind and
being further marginalized.
11. We are committed to realizing our common vision of the Information Society
for ourselves and for future generations. We recognize that young people are the
future workforce and leading creators and earliest adopters of ICTs. They must
therefore be empowered as learners, developers, contributors, entrepreneurs and
decision-makers. We must focus especially on young people who have not yet been
able to benefi t fully from the opportunities provided by ICTs. We are also committed
to ensuring that the development of ICT applications and operation of services
respects the rights of children as well as their protection and well-being.
12. We affi rm that development of ICTs provides enormous opportunities for
women, who should be an integral part of, and key actors, in the Information Society.
We are committed to ensuring that the Information Society enables women’s
empowerment and their full participation on the basis of equality in all spheres of
society and in all decision-making processes. To this end, we should mainstream a
gender equality perspective and use ICTs as a tool to that end.
13. In building the Information Society, we shall pay particular attention to the
special needs of marginalized and vulnerable groups of society, including migrants,
internally displaced persons and refugees, unemployed and underprivileged people,
minorities and nomadic people. We shall also recognize the special needs of older
persons and persons with disabilities.
14. We are resolute to empower the poor, particularly those living in remote, rural
and marginalized urban areas, to access information and to use ICTs as a tool to
support their efforts to lift themselves out of poverty.
15. In the evolution of the Information Society, particular attention must be given
to the special situation of indigenous peoples, as well as to the preservation of their
heritage and their cultural legacy.
16. We continue to pay special attention to the particular needs of people of
developing countries, countries with economies in transition, Least Developed
Countries, Small Island Developing States, Landlocked Developing Countries, Highly
Indebted Poor Countries, countries and territories under occupation, countries
recovering from confl ict and countries and regions with special needs as well as to
conditions that pose severe threats to development, such as natural disasters.
12 World Summit on the Information Society
Geneva 2003
17. We recognize that building an inclusive Information Society requires new
forms of solidarity, partnership and cooperation among governments and other
stakeholders, i.e. the private sector, civil society and international organizations.
Realizing that the ambitious goal of this Declaration — bridging the digital divide and
ensuring harmonious, fair and equitable development for all — will require strong
commitment by all stakeholders, we call for digital solidarity, both at national and
international levels.
18. Nothing in this Declaration shall be construed as impairing, contradicting,
restricting or derogating from the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations
and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, any other international instrument
or national laws adopted in furtherance of these instruments
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Declaration of Principles
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B. An Information Society for All: Key Principles
19. We are resolute in our quest to ensure that everyone can benefi t from the
opportunities that ICTs can offer. We agree that to meet these challenges,
all stakeholders should work together to: improve access to information and
communication infrastructure and technologies as well as to information and
knowledge; build capacity; increase confi dence and security in the use of ICTs;
create an enabling environment at all levels; develop and widen ICT applications;
foster and respect cultural diversity; recognize the role of the media; address the
ethical dimensions of the Information Society; and encourage international and
regional cooperation. We agree that these are the key principles for building an
inclusive Information Society.
1) The role of governments and all stakeholders in the promotion of ICTs for
development
20. Governments, as well as private sector, civil society and the United Nations
and other international organizations have an important role and responsibility in
the development of the Information Society and, as appropriate, in decision-making
processes. Building a people-centred Information Society is a joint effort which
requires cooperation and partnership among all stakeholders.
2) Information and communication infrastructure: An essential foundation for
an inclusive Information Society
21. Connectivity is a central enabling agent in building the Information Society.
Universal, ubiquitous, equitable and affordable access to ICT infrastructure and
services, constitutes one of the challenges of the Information Society and should
be an objective of all stakeholders involved in building it. Connectivity also involves
access to energy and postal services, which should be assured in conformity with
the domestic legislation of each country.
22. A well-developed information and communication network infrastructure and
applications, adapted to regional, national and local conditions, easily-accessible
and affordable, and making greater use of broadband and other innovative
technologies where possible, can accelerate the social and economic progress of
countries, and the well-being of all individuals, communities and peoples.
23. Policies that create a favourable climate for stability, predictability and fair
competition at all levels should be developed and implemented in a manner that
not only attracts more private investment for ICT infrastructure development but
also enables universal service obligations to be met in areas where traditional
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Declaration of Principles
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market conditions fail to work. In disadvantaged areas, the establishment of ICT
public access points in places such as post offi ces, schools, libraries and archives,
can provide effective means for ensuring universal access to the infrastructure and
services of the Information Society.
3) Access to information and knowledge
24. The ability for all to access and contribute information, ideas and knowledge is
essential in an inclusive Information Society.
25. The sharing and strengthening of global knowledge for development can be
enhanced by removing barriers to equitable access to information for economic,
social, political, health, cultural, educational, and scientifi c activities and by
facilitating access to public domain information, including by universal design and
the use of assistive technologies.
26. A rich public domain is an essential element for the growth of the Information
Society, creating multiple benefi ts such as an educated public, new jobs, innovation,
business opportunities, and the advancement of sciences. Information in the
public domain should be easily accessible to support the Information Society, and
protected from misappropriation. Public institutions such as libraries and archives,
museums, cultural collections and other community-based access points should be
strengthened so as to promote the preservation of documentary records and free
and equitable access to information.
27. Access to information and knowledge can be promoted by increasing
awareness among all stakeholders of the possibilities offered by different software
models, including proprietary, open-source and free software, in order to increase
competition, access by users, diversity of choice, and to enable all users to develop
solutions which best meet their requirements. Affordable access to software should
be considered as an important component of a truly inclusive Information Society.
28. We strive to promote universal access with equal opportunities for all to
scientifi c knowledge and the creation and dissemination of scientifi c and technical
information, including open access initiatives for scientifi c publishing.
4) Capacity building
29. Each person should have the opportunity to acquire the necessary skills and
knowledge in order to understand, participate actively in, and benefi t fully from, the
Information Society and the knowledge economy. Literacy and universal primary
education are key factors for building a fully inclusive Information Society, paying
16 World Summit on the Information Society
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particular attention to the special needs of girls and women. Given the wide range of
ICT and information specialists required at all levels, building institutional capacity
deserves special attention.
30. The use of ICTs in all stages of education, training and human resource
development should be promoted, taking into account the special needs of persons
with disabilities and disadvantaged and vulnerable groups.
31. Continuous and adult education, re-training, life-long learning, distancelearning
and other special services, such as telemedicine, can make an essential
contribution to employability and help people benefi t from the new opportunities
offered by ICTs for traditional jobs, self-employment and new professions. Awareness
and literacy in ICTs are an essential foundation in this regard.
32. Content creators, publishers, and producers, as well as teachers, trainers,
archivists, librarians and learners, should play an active role in promoting the
Information Society, particularly in the Least Developed Countries.
33. To achieve a sustainable development of the Information Society, national
capability in ICT research and development should be enhanced. Furthermore,
partnerships, in particular between and among developed and developing countries,
including countries with economies in transition, in research and development,
technology transfer, manufacturing and utilization of ICT products and services are
crucial for promoting capacity building and global participation in the Information
Society. The manufacture of ICTs presents a signifi cant opportunity for creation of
wealth.
34. The attainment of our shared aspirations, in particular for developing countries
and countries with economies in transition, to become fully-fl edged members of
the Information Society, and their positive integration into the knowledge economy,
depend largely on increased capacity building in the areas of education, technology
know-how and access to information, which are major factors in determining
development and competitiveness.
5) Building confidence and security in the use of ICTs
35. Strengthening the trust framework, including information security and network
security, authentication, privacy and consumer protection, is a prerequisite for the
development of the Information Society and for building confi dence among users
of ICTs. A global culture of cybersecurity needs to be promoted, developed and
implemented in cooperation with all stakeholders and international expert bodies.
These efforts should be supported by increased international cooperation. Within
this global culture of cybersecurity, it is important to enhance security and to ensure
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Declaration of Principles
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the protection of data and privacy, while enhancing access and trade. In addition,
it must take into account the level of social and economic development of each
country and respect the development-oriented aspects of the Information Society.
36. While recognizing the principles of universal and non-discriminatory access
to ICTs for all nations, we support the activities of the United Nations to prevent
the potential use of ICTs for purposes that are inconsistent with the objectives
of maintaining international stability and security, and may adversely affect the
integrity of the infrastructure within States, to the detriment of their security. It is
necessary to prevent the use of information resources and technologies for criminal
and terrorist purposes, while respecting human rights.
37. Spam is a signifi cant and growing problem for users, networks and the Internet
as a whole. Spam and cybersecurity should be dealt with at appropriate national
and international levels.
6) Enabling environment
38. An enabling environment at national and international levels is essential
for the Information Society. ICTs should be used as an important tool for good
governance.
39. The rule of law, accompanied by a supportive, transparent, pro-competitive,
technologically neutral and predictable policy and regulatory framework refl ecting
national realities, is essential for building a people-centred Information Society.
Governments should intervene, as appropriate, to correct market failures, to
maintain fair competition, to attract investment, to enhance the development of
the ICT infrastructure and applications, to maximize economic and social benefi ts,
and to serve national priorities.
40. A dynamic and enabling international environment, supportive of foreign direct
investment, transfer of technology, and international cooperation, particularly in
the areas of fi nance, debt and trade, as well as full and effective participation of
developing countries in global decision-making, are vital complements to national
development efforts related to ICTs. Improving global affordable connectivity would
contribute signifi cantly to the effectiveness of these development efforts.
41. ICTs are an important enabler of growth through effi ciency gains and increased
productivity, in particular by Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). In this
regard, the development of the Information Society is important for broadly-based
economic growth in both developed and developing economies. ICT-supported
productivity gains and applied innovations across economic sectors should be
fostered. Equitable distribution of the benefi ts contributes to poverty eradication
18 World Summit on the Information Society
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and social development. Policies that foster productive investment and enable
fi rms, notably SMEs, to make the changes needed to seize the benefi ts from ICTs,
are likely to be the most benefi cial.
42. Intellectual Property protection is important to encourage innovation and
creativity in the Information Society; similarly, the wide dissemination, diffusion,
and sharing of knowledge is important to encourage innovation and creativity.
Facilitating meaningful participation by all in intellectual property issues and
knowledge sharing through full awareness and capacity building is a fundamental
part of an inclusive Information Society.
43. Sustainable development can best be advanced in the Information Society
when ICT-related efforts and programmes are fully integrated in national and
regional development strategies. We welcome the New Partnership for Africa’s
Development (NEPAD) and encourage the international community to support the
ICT-related measures of this initiative as well as those belonging to similar efforts in
other regions. Distribution of the benefi ts of ICT-driven growth contributes to poverty
eradication and sustainable development.
44. Standardization is one of the essential building blocks of the Information
Society. There should be particular emphasis on the development and adoption
of international standards. The development and use of open, interoperable, nondiscriminatory
and demand-driven standards that take into account needs of users
and consumers is a basic element for the development and greater diffusion of
ICTs and more affordable access to them, particularly in developing countries.
International standards aim to create an environment where consumers can access
services worldwide regardless of underlying technology.
45. The radio-frequency spectrum should be managed in the public interest and
in accordance with principle of legality, with full observance of national laws and
regulation as well as relevant international agreements.
46. In building the Information Society, States are strongly urged to take steps with a
view to the avoidance of, and refrain from, any unilateral measure not in accordance
with international law and the Charter of the United Nations that impedes the full
achievement of economic and social development by the population of the affected
countries, and that hinders the well-being of their population.
47. Recognizing that ICTs are progressively changing our working practices, the
creation of a secure, safe and healthy working environment, appropriate to the
utilization of ICTs, respecting all relevant international norms, is fundamental.
48. The Internet has evolved into a global facility available to the public and its
governance should constitute a core issue of the Information Society agenda.
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The international management of the Internet should be multilateral, transparent
and democratic, with the full involvement of governments, the private sector, civil
society and international organizations. It should ensure an equitable distribution
of resources, facilitate access for all and ensure a stable and secure functioning of
the Internet, taking into account multilingualism.
49. The management of the Internet encompasses both technical and public
policy issues and should involve all stakeholders and relevant intergovernmental
and international organizations. In this respect, it is recognized that:
a) Policy authority for Internet-related public policy issues is the sovereign
right of States. They have rights and responsibilities for international Internetrelated
public policy issues.
b) The private sector has had, and should continue to have, an important role
in the development of the Internet, both in the technical and economic fi elds.
c) Civil society has also played an important role on Internet matters, especially
at the community level, and should continue to play such a role.
d) Intergovernmental organizations have had, and should continue to have, a
facilitating role in the coordination of Internet-related public policy issues.
e) International organizations have also had, and should continue to have, an
important role in the development of Internet-related technical standards and
relevant policies.
50. International Internet governance issues should be addressed in a coordinated
manner. We ask the Secretary-General of the United Nations to set up a working
group on Internet governance, in an open and inclusive process that ensures a
mechanism for the full and active participation of governments, the private sector
and civil society from both developing and developed countries, involving relevant
intergovernmental and international organizations and forums, to investigate and
make proposals for action, as appropriate, on the governance of Internet by 2005.
7) ICT applications: benefits in all aspects of life
51. The usage and deployment of ICTs should seek to create benefi ts in all
aspects of our daily life. ICT applications are potentially important in government
operations and services, health care and health information, education and
training, employment, job creation, business, agriculture, transport, protection
of environment and management of natural resources, disaster prevention, and
culture, and to promote eradication of poverty and other agreed development goals.
ICTs should also contribute to sustainable production and consumption patterns
and reduce traditional barriers, providing an opportunity for all to access local and
global markets in a more equitable manner. Applications should be user-friendly,
20 World Summit on the Information Society
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accessible to all, affordable, adapted to local needs in languages and cultures, and
support sustainable development. To this effect, local authorities should play a
major role in the provision of ICT services for the benefi t of their populations.
8) Cultural diversity and identity, linguistic diversity and local content
52. Cultural diversity is the common heritage of humankind. The Information
Society should be founded on and stimulate respect for cultural identity, cultural
and linguistic diversity, traditions and religions, and foster dialogue among cultures
and civilizations. The promotion, affi rmation and preservation of diverse cultural
identities and languages as refl ected in relevant agreed United Nations documents
including UNESCO’s Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity, will further enrich
the Information Society.
53. The creation, dissemination and preservation of content in diverse languages
and formats must be accorded high priority in building an inclusive Information
Society, paying particular attention to the diversity of supply of creative work and
due recognition of the rights of authors and artists. It is essential to promote the
production of and accessibility to all content — educational, scientifi c, cultural
or recreational — in diverse languages and formats. The development of local
content suited to domestic or regional needs will encourage social and economic
development and will stimulate participation of all stakeholders, including people
living in rural, remote and marginal areas.
54. The preservation of cultural heritage is a crucial component of identity and
self-understanding of individuals that links a community to its past. The Information
Society should harness and preserve cultural heritage for the future by all appropriate
methods, including digitization.
9) Media
55. We reaffi rm our commitment to the principles of freedom of the press and
freedom of information, as well as those of the independence, pluralism and diversity
of media, which are essential to the Information Society. Freedom to seek, receive,
impart and use information for the creation, accumulation and dissemination of
knowledge is important to the Information Society. We call for the responsible use
and treatment of information by the media in accordance with the highest ethical
and professional standards. Traditional media in all their forms have an important
role in the Information Society and ICTs should play a supportive role in this regard.
Diversity of media ownership should be encouraged, in conformity with national
law, and taking into account relevant international conventions. We reaffi rm the
necessity of reducing international imbalances affecting the media, particularly as
regards infrastructure, technical resources and the development of human skills.
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10) Ethical dimensions of the Information Society
56. The Information Society should respect peace and uphold the fundamental
values of freedom, equality, solidarity, tolerance, shared responsibility, and respect
for nature.
57. We acknowledge the importance of ethics for the Information Society, which
should foster justice, and the dignity and worth of the human person. The widest
possible protection should be accorded to the family to enable it to play its crucial
role in society.
58. The use of ICTs and content creation should respect human rights and
fundamental freedoms of others, including personal privacy, and the right to
freedom of thought, conscience, and religion in conformity with relevant international
instruments.
59. All actors in the Information Society should take appropriate actions and
preventive measures, as determined by law, against abusive uses of ICTs, such as
illegal and other acts motivated by racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and
related intolerance, hatred, violence, all forms of child abuse, including paedophilia
and child pornography, and traffi cking in, and exploitation of, human beings.
11) International and regional cooperation
60. We aim at making full use of the opportunities offered by ICTs in our efforts
to reach the internationally agreed development goals, including those contained
in the Millennium Declaration, and to uphold the key principles set forth in this
Declaration. The Information Society is intrinsically global in nature and national
efforts need to be supported by effective international and regional cooperation
among governments, the private sector, civil society and other stakeholders,
including the international fi nancial institutions.
61. In order to build an inclusive global Information Society, we will seek and
effectively implement concrete international approaches and mechanisms,
including fi nancial and technical assistance. Therefore, while appreciating ongoing
ICT cooperation through various mechanisms, we invite all stakeholders to commit
to the Digital Solidarity Agenda set forth in the Plan of Action. We are convinced that
the worldwide agreed objective is to contribute to bridge the digital divide, promote
access to ICTs, create digital opportunities, and benefi t from the potential offered
by ICTs for development. We recognize the will expressed by some to create an
international voluntary Digital Solidarity Fund, and by others to undertake studies
concerning existing mechanisms and the effi ciency and feasibility of such a Fund.
22 World Summit on the Information Society
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62. Regional integration contributes to the development of the global Information
Society and makes strong cooperation within and among regions indispensable.
Regional dialogue should contribute to national capacity building and to the
alignment of national strategies with the goals of this Declaration of Principles
in a compatible way, while respecting national and regional particularities. In this
context, we welcome and encourage the international community to support the
ICT-related measures of such initiatives.
63. We resolve to assist developing countries, LDCs and countries with economies
in transition through the mobilization from all sources of fi nancing, the provision
of fi nancial and technical assistance and by creating an environment conducive to
technology transfer, consistent with the purposes of this Declaration and the Plan
of Action.
64. The core competences of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
in the fi elds of ICTs — assistance in bridging the digital divide, international and
regional cooperation, radio spectrum management, standards development
and the dissemination of information — are of crucial importance for building the
Information Society.
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C. Towards an Information Society for All Based on Shared
Knowledge
65. We commit ourselves to strengthening cooperation to seek common responses
to the challenges and to the implementation of the Plan of Action, which will
realize the vision of an inclusive Information Society based on the Key Principles
incorporated in this Declaration.
66. We further commit ourselves to evaluate and follow up progress in bridging
the digital divide, taking into account different levels of development, so as to
reach internationally agreed development goals, including those contained in
the Millennium Declaration, and to assess the effectiveness of investment and
international cooperation efforts in building the Information Society.
67. We are fi rmly convinced that we are collectively entering a new era of enormous
potential, that of the Information Society and expanded human communication. In
this emerging society, information and knowledge can be produced, exchanged,
shared and communicated through all the networks of the world. All individuals can
soon, if we take the necessary actions, together build a new Information Society
based on shared knowledge and founded on global solidarity and a better mutual
understanding between peoples and nations. We trust that these measures will
open the way to the future development of a true knowledge society.
Geneva, 12 December 2003

25
Declaration of Principles
World Summit on the Information Society
PLAN OF ACTION
GENEVA
26 World Summit on the Information Society
Geneva 2003
World Summit on the Information Society 27
A. Introduction
1. The common vision and guiding principles of the Declaration are translated
in this Plan of Action into concrete action lines to advance the achievement of
the internationally agreed development goals, including those in the Millennium
Declaration, the Monterrey Consensus and the Johannesburg Declaration and Plan
of Implementation, by promoting the use of ICT-based products, networks, services
and applications, and to help countries overcome the digital divide. The Information
Society envisaged in the Declaration of Principles will be realized in cooperation
and solidarity by governments and all other stakeholders.
2. The Information Society is an evolving concept that has reached different levels
across the world, refl ecting the different stages of development. Technological and
other change is rapidly transforming the environment in which the Information
Society is developed. The Plan of Action is thus an evolving platform to promote the
Information Society at the national, regional and international levels. The unique
two-phase structure of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) provides
an opportunity to take this evolution into account.
3. All stakeholders have an important role to play in the Information Society,
especially through partnerships:
a) Governments have a leading role in developing and implementing
comprehensive, forward-looking and sustainable national e-strategies.
The private sector and civil society, in dialogue with governments, have an
important consultative role to play in devising national e-strategies.
b) The commitment of the private sector is important in developing and
diffusing information and communication technologies (ICTs), for infrastructure,
content and applications. The private sector is not only a market player, but
also plays a role in a wider sustainable development context.
c) The commitment and involvement of civil society is equally important in
creating an equitable Information Society, and in implementing ICT-related
initiatives for development.
d) International and regional institutions, including international fi nancial
institutions, have a key role in integrating the use of ICTs in the development
process and making available necessary resources for building the Information
Society and for the evaluation of the progress made.
Plan of Action
28 World Summit on the Information Society
Geneva 2003
B. Objectives, Goals and Targets
4. The objectives of the Plan of Action are to build an inclusive Information Society;
to put the potential of knowledge and ICTs at the service of development; to promote
the use of information and knowledge for the achievement of internationally agreed
development goals, including those contained in the Millennium Declaration; and
to address new challenges of the Information Society, at the national, regional and
international levels. Opportunity shall be taken in phase two of the WSIS to evaluate
and assess progress made towards bridging the digital divide.
5. Specifi c targets for the Information Society will be established as appropriate,
at the national level in the framework of national e-strategies and in accordance
with national development policies, taking into account the different national
circumstances. Such targets can serve as useful benchmarks for actions and for the
evaluation of the progress made towards the attainment of the overall objectives of
the Information Society.
6. Based on internationally agreed development goals, including those in the
Millennium Declaration, which are premised on international cooperation, indicative
targets may serve as global references for improving connectivity and access in the
use of ICTs in promoting the objectives of the Plan of Action, to be achieved by
2015. These targets may be taken into account in the establishment of the national
targets, considering the different national circumstances:
a) to connect villages with ICTs and establish community access points;
b) to connect universities, colleges, secondary schools and primary schools
with ICTs;
c) to connect scientifi c and research centres with ICTs;
d) to connect public libraries, cultural centres, museums, post offi ces and
archives with ICTs;
e) to connect health centres and hospitals with ICTs;
f) to connect all local and central government departments and establish
websites and email addresses;
g) to adapt all primary and secondary school curricula to meet the challenges
of the Information Society, taking into account national circumstances;
h) to ensure that all of the world’s population have access to television and
radio services;
29
Declaration of Principles
World Summit on the Information Society
30 World Summit on the Information Society
i) to encourage the development of content and to put in place technical
conditions in order to facilitate the presence and use of all world languages
on the Internet;
j) to ensure that more than half the world’s inhabitants have access to ICTs
within their reach.
7. In giving effect to these objectives, goals and targets, special attention will be
paid to the needs of developing countries, and in particular to countries, peoples
and groups cited in paragraphs 11-16 of the Declaration of Principles.
Geneva 2003
World Summit on the Information Society 31
Plan of Action
C. Action Lines
C1. The role of governments and all stakeholders in the promotion of ICTs for
development
8. The effective participation of governments and all stakeholders is vital in
developing the Information Society requiring cooperation and partnerships among
all of them.
a) Development of national e-strategies, including the necessary human
capacity building, should be encouraged by all countries by 2005, taking into
account different national circumstances.
b) Initiate at the national level a structured dialogue involving all relevant
stakeholders, including through public/private partnerships, in devising estrategies
for the Information Society and for the exchange of best practices.
c) In developing and implementing national e-strategies, stakeholders should
take into consideration local, regional and national needs and concerns. To
maximize the benefi ts of initiatives undertaken, these should include the
concept of sustainability. The private sector should be engaged in concrete
projects to develop the Information Society at local, regional and national
levels.
d) Each country is encouraged to establish at least one functioning Public/
Private Partnership (PPP) or Multi-Sector Partnership (MSP), by 2005 as a
showcase for future action.
e) Identify mechanisms, at the national, regional and international levels,
for the initiation and promotion of partnerships among stakeholders of the
Information Society.
f) Explore the viability of establishing multi-stakeholder portals for indigenous
peoples at the national level.
g) By 2005, relevant international organizations and fi nancial institutions
should develop their own strategies for the use of ICTs for sustainable
development, including sustainable production and consumption patterns
and as an effective instrument to help achieve the goals expressed in the
United Nations Millennium Declaration.
h) International organizations should publish, in their areas of competence,
including on their website, reliable information submitted by relevant
stakeholders on successful experiences of mainstreaming ICTs.
i) Encourage a series of related measures, including, among other things:
incubator schemes, venture capital investments (national and international),
32 World Summit on the Information Society
Geneva 2003
government investment funds (including microfi nance for Small, Mediumsized
and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs)), investment promotion strategies,
software export support activities (trade counselling), support of research and
development networks and software parks.
C2. Information and communication infrastructure: An essential foundation
for the Information Society
9. Infrastructure is central in achieving the goal of digital inclusion, enabling
universal, sustainable, ubiquitous and affordable access to ICTs by all, taking into
account relevant solutions already in place in developing countries and countries
with economies in transition, to provide sustainable connectivity and access to
remote and marginalized areas at national and regional levels.
a) Governments should take action, in the framework of national development
policies, in order to support an enabling and competitive environment for the
necessary investment in ICT infrastructure and for the development of new
services.
b) In the context of national e-strategies, devise appropriate universal access
policies and strategies, and their means of implementation, in line with the
indicative targets, and develop ICT connectivity indicators.
c) In the context of national e-strategies, provide and improve ICT connectivity
for all schools, universities, health institutions, libraries, post offi ces,
community centres, museums and other institutions accessible to the public,
in line with the indicative targets.
d) Develop and strengthen national, regional and international broadband
network infrastructure, including delivery by satellite and other systems, to
help in providing the capacity to match the needs of countries and their citizens
and for the delivery of new ICT-based services. Support technical, regulatory
and operational studies by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
and, as appropriate, other relevant international organizations in order to:
i. broaden access to orbital resources, global frequency harmonization
and global systems standardization;
ii. encourage public/private partnership;
iii. promote the provision of global high-speed satellite services for
underserved areas such as remote and sparsely populated areas;
iv. explore other systems that can provide high-speed connectivity.
e) In the context of national e-strategies, address the special requirements
of older people, persons with disabilities, children, especially marginalized
children and other disadvantaged and vulnerable groups, including by
World Summit on the Information Society 33
Plan of Action
appropriate educational administrative and legislative measures to ensure
their full inclusion in the Information Society.
f) Encourage the design and production of ICT equipment and services so
that everyone has easy and affordable access to them including older people,
persons with disabilities, children, especially marginalized children, and
other disadvantaged and vulnerable groups, and promote the development
of technologies, applications, and content suited to their needs, guided by
the Universal Design Principle and further enhanced by the use of assistive
technologies.
g) In order to alleviate the challenges of illiteracy, develop affordable
technologies and non text-based computer interfaces to facilitate people’s
access to ICTs.
h) Undertake international research and development efforts aimed at
making available adequate and affordable ICT equipment for end users.
i) Encourage the use of unused wireless capacity, including satellite, in
developed countries and in particular in developing countries, to provide
access in remote areas, especially in developing countries and countries with
economies in transition, and to improve low-cost connectivity in developing
countries. Special concern should be given to the Least Developed Countries
in their efforts in establishing telecommunication infrastructure.
j) Optimize connectivity among major information networks by encouraging the
creation and development of regional ICT backbones and Internet exchange
points, to reduce interconnection costs and broaden network access.
k) Develop strategies for increasing affordable global connectivity, thereby
facilitating improved access. Commercially negotiated Internet transit and
interconnection costs should be oriented towards objective, transparent and
non-discriminatory parameters, taking into account ongoing work on this
subject.
l) Encourage and promote joint use of traditional media and new
technologies.
C3. Access to information and knowledge
10. ICTs allow people, anywhere in the world, to access information and knowledge
almost instantaneously. Individuals, organizations and communities should benefi t
from access to knowledge and information.
a) Develop policy guidelines for the development and promotion of public
domain information as an important international instrument promoting
public access to information.
34 World Summit on the Information Society
Geneva 2003
b) Governments are encouraged to provide adequate access through various
communication resources, notably the Internet, to public offi cial information.
Establishing legislation on access to information and the preservation of public
data, notably in the area of the new technologies, is encouraged.
c) Promote research and development to facilitate accessibility of ICTs for all,
including disadvantaged, marginalized and vulnerable groups.
d) Governments, and other stakeholders, should establish sustainable multipurpose
community public access points, providing affordable or free-of-charge
access for their citizens to the various communication resources, notably the
Internet. These access points should, to the extent possible, have suffi cient
capacity to provide assistance to users, in libraries, educational institutions,
public administrations, post offi ces or other public places, with special emphasis
on rural and underserved areas, while respecting Intellectual Property Rights
(IPRs) and encouraging the use of information and sharing of knowledge.
e) Encourage research and promote awareness among all stakeholders
of the possibilities offered by different software models, and the means of
their creation, including proprietary, open-source and free software, in order
to increase competition, freedom of choice and affordability, and enable all
stakeholders to evaluate which solution best meets their requirements.
f) Governments should actively promote the use of ICTs as a fundamental
working tool by their citizens and local authorities. In this respect, the
international community and other stakeholders should support capacity
building for local authorities in the widespread use of ICTs as a means of
improving local governance.
g) Encourage research on the Information Society, including on innovative
forms of networking, adaptation of ICT infrastructure, tools and applications that
facilitate accessibility of ICTs for all, and disadvantaged groups in particular.
h) Support the creation and development of a digital public library and archive
services, adapted to the Information Society, including reviewing national library
strategies and legislation, developing a global understanding of the need for
“hybrid libraries”, and fostering worldwide cooperation between libraries.
i) Encourage initiatives to facilitate access, including free and affordable
access to open access journals and books, and open archives for scientifi c
information.
j) Support research and development of the design of useful instruments for
all stakeholders to foster increased awareness, assessment, and evaluation of
different software models and licences, so as to ensure an optimal choice of
appropriate software that will best contribute to achieving development goals
within local conditions.
World Summit on the Information Society 35
Plan of Action
36 World Summit on the Information Society
Geneva 2003
C4. Capacity building
11. Everyone should have the necessary skills to benefi t fully from the Information
Society. Therefore, capacity building and ICT literacy are essential. ICTs can
contribute to achieving universal education worldwide, through delivery of education
and training of teachers, and offering improved conditions for lifelong learning,
encompassing people that are outside the formal education process, and improving
professional skills.
a) Develop domestic policies to ensure that ICTs are fully integrated in
education and training at all levels, including in curriculum development,
teacher training, institutional administration and management, and in support
of the concept of lifelong learning.
b) Develop and promote programmes to eradicate illiteracy using ICTs at
national, regional and international levels.
c) Promote e-literacy skills for all, for example by designing and offering
courses for public administration, taking advantage of existing facilities such
as libraries, multi-purpose community centres, public access points and by
establishing local ICT training centres with the cooperation of all stakeholders.
Special attention should be paid to disadvantaged and vulnerable groups.
d) In the context of national educational policies, and taking into account
the need to eradicate adult illiteracy, ensure that young people are equipped
with knowledge and skills to use ICTs, including the capacity to analyse and
treat information in creative and innovative ways, share their expertise and
participate fully in the Information Society.
e) Governments, in cooperation with other stakeholders, should create
programmes for capacity building with an emphasis on creating a critical
mass of qualifi ed and skilled ICT professionals and experts.
f) Develop pilot projects to demonstrate the impact of ICT-based alternative
educational delivery systems, notably for achieving Education for All targets,
including basic literacy targets.
g) Work on removing the gender barriers to ICT education and training and
promoting equal training opportunities in ICT-related fi elds for women and girls.
Early intervention programmes in science and technology should target young
girls with the aim of increasing the number of women in ICT careers. Promote
the exchange of best practices on the integration of gender perspectives in
ICT education.
h) Empower local communities, especially those in rural and underserved
areas, in ICT use and promote the production of useful and socially meaningful
content for the benefi t of all.
World Summit on the Information Society 37
Plan of Action
i) Launch education and training programmes, where possible using
information networks of traditional nomadic and indigenous peoples, which
provide opportunities to fully participate in the Information Society.
j) Design and implement regional and international cooperation activities to
enhance the capacity, notably, of leaders and operational staff in developing
countries and LDCs, to apply ICTs effectively in the whole range of educational
activities. This should include delivery of education outside the educational
structure, such as the workplace and at home.
k) Design specifi c training programmes in the use of ICTs in order to meet the
educational needs of information professionals, such as archivists, librarians,
museum professionals, scientists, teachers, journalists, postal workers and
other relevant professional groups. Training of information professionals
should focus not only on new methods and techniques for the development
and provision of information and communication services, but also on relevant
management skills to ensure the best use of technologies. Training of teachers
should focus on the technical aspects of ICTs, on development of content, and
on the potential possibilities and challenges of ICTs.
l) Develop distance learning, training and other forms of education and
training as part of capacity building programmes. Give special attention
to developing countries and especially LDCs in different levels of human
resources development.
m) Promote international and regional cooperation in the fi eld of capacity
building, including country programmes developed by the United Nations and
its Specialized Agencies.
n) Launch pilot projects to design new forms of ICT-based networking, linking
education, training and research institutions between and among developed
and developing countries and countries with economies in transition.
o) Volunteering, if conducted in harmony with national policies and local
cultures, can be a valuable asset for raising human capacity to make productive
use of ICT tools and build a more inclusive Information Society. Activate
volunteer programmes to provide capacity building on ICT for development,
particularly in developing countries.
p) Design programmes to train users to develop self-learning and selfdevelopment
capacities.
C5. Building confidence and security in the use of ICTs
12. Confi dence and security are among the main pillars of the Information Society.
a) Promote cooperation among the governments at the United Nations and
with all stakeholders at other appropriate fora to enhance user confi dence,
38 World Summit on the Information Society
Geneva 2003
build trust, and protect both data and network integrity; consider existing and
potential threats to ICTs; and address other information security and network
security issues.
b) Governments, in cooperation with the private sector, should prevent, detect
and respond to cybercrime and misuse of ICTs by: developing guidelines that take
into account ongoing efforts in these areas; considering legislation that allows
for effective investigation and prosecution of misuse; promoting effective mutual
assistance efforts; strengthening institutional support at the international level
for preventing, detecting and recovering from such incidents; and encouraging
education and raising awareness.
c) Governments, and other stakeholders, should actively promote user education
and awareness about online privacy and the means of protecting privacy.
d) Take appropriate action on spam at national and international levels.
e) Encourage the domestic assessment of national law with a view to overcoming
any obstacles to the effective use of electronic documents and transactions
including electronic means of authentication.
f) Further strengthen the trust and security framework with complementary and
mutually reinforcing initiatives in the fi elds of security in the use of ICTs, with
initiatives or guidelines with respect to rights to privacy, data and consumer
protection.
g) Share good practices in the fi eld of information security and network security
and encourage their use by all parties concerned.
h) Invite interested countries to set up focal points for real-time incident handling
and response, and develop a cooperative network between these focal points for
sharing information and technologies on incident response.
i) Encourage further development of secure and reliable applications to facilitate
online transactions.
j) Encourage interested countries to contribute actively to the ongoing United
Nations activities to build confi dence and security in the use of ICTs.
C6. Enabling environment
13. To maximize the social, economic and environmental benefi ts of the Information
Society, governments need to create a trustworthy, transparent and non-discriminatory
legal, regulatory and policy environment. Actions include:
a) Governments should foster a supportive, transparent, pro-competitive and
predictable policy, legal and regulatory framework, which provides the appropriate
incentives to investment and community development in the Information
Society.
World Summit on the Information Society 39
Plan of Action
b) We ask the Secretary-General of the United Nations to set up a working
group on Internet governance, in an open and inclusive process that ensures
a mechanism for the full and active participation of governments, the private
sector and civil society from both developing and developed countries, involving
relevant intergovernmental and international organizations and forums, to
investigate and make proposals for action, as appropriate, on the governance
of Internet by 2005. The group should, inter alia:
i. develop a working defi nition of Internet governance;
ii. identify the public policy issues that are relevant to Internet
governance;
iii. develop a common understanding of the respective roles and
responsibilities of governments, existing intergovernmental and
international organizations and other forums as well as the private sector
and civil society from both developing and developed countries;
iv. prepare a report on the results of this activity to be presented for
consideration and appropriate action for the second phase of WSIS in
Tunis in 2005.
c) Governments are invited to:
i. facilitate the establishment of national and regional Internet Exchange
Centres;
ii. manage or supervize, as appropriate, their respective country code
Top-Level Domain name (ccTLD);
iii. promote awareness of the Internet.
d) In cooperation with the relevant stakeholders, promote regional root
servers and the use of internationalized domain names in order to overcome
barriers to access.
e) Governments should continue to update their domestic consumer protection
laws to respond to the new requirements of the Information Society.
f) Promote effective participation by developing countries and countries with
economies in transition in international ICT forums and create opportunities
for exchange of experience.
g) Governments need to formulate national strategies, which include egovernment
strategies, to make public administration more transparent,
effi cient and democratic.
h) Develop a framework for the secure storage and archival of documents and
other electronic records of information.
40 World Summit on the Information Society
Geneva 2003
i) Governments and stakeholders should actively promote user education
and awareness about online privacy and the means of protecting privacy.
j) Invite stakeholders to ensure that practices designed to facilitate electronic
commerce also permit consumers to have a choice as to whether or not to use
electronic communication.
k) Encourage the ongoing work in the area of effective dispute settlement
systems, notably Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), which can promote
settlement of disputes.
l) Governments, in collaboration with stakeholders, are encouraged to
formulate conducive ICT policies that foster entrepreneurship, innovation and
investment, and with particular reference to the promotion of participation by
women.
m) Recognizing the economic potential of ICTs for Small and Medium-sized
Enterprises (SMEs), they should be assisted in increasing their competitiveness
by streamlining administrative procedures, facilitating their access to
capital and enhancing their capacity to participate in ICT-related projects.
n) Governments should act as model users and early adopters of e-commerce
in accordance with their level of socio-economic development.
o) Governments, in cooperation with other stakeholders, should raise
awareness of the importance of international interoperability standards for
global e-commerce.
p) Governments, in cooperation with other stakeholders, should promote the
development and use of open, interoperable, non-discriminatory and demanddriven
standards.
q) ITU, pursuant to its treaty capacity, coordinates and allocates frequencies
with the goal of facilitating ubiquitous and affordable access.
r) Additional steps should be taken in ITU and other regional organizations
to ensure rational, effi cient and economical use of, and equitable access to,
the radio-frequency spectrum by all countries, based on relevant international
agreements.
C7. ICT applications: benefits in all aspects of life
14. ICT applications can support sustainable development, in the fi elds of public
administration, business, education and training, health, employment, environment,
agriculture and science within the framework of national e-strategies. This would
include actions within the following sectors:
World Summit on the Information Society 41
Plan of Action
15. E-government
a) Implement e-government strategies focusing on applications aimed
at innovating and promoting transparency in public administrations and
democratic processes, improving effi ciency and strengthening relations with
citizens.
b) Develop national e-government initiatives and services, at all levels,
adapted to the needs of citizens and business, to achieve a more effi cient
allocation of resources and public goods.
c) Support international cooperation initiatives in the fi eld of e-government,
in order to enhance transparency, accountability and effi ciency at all levels of
government.
16. E-business
a) Governments, international organizations and the private sector, are
encouraged to promote the benefi ts of international trade and the use of
e-business, and promote the use of e-business models in developing countries
and countries with economies in transition.
b) Through the adoption of an enabling environment, and based on widely
available Internet access, governments should seek to stimulate private sector
investment, foster new applications, content development and public/private
partnerships.
c) Government policies should favour assistance to, and growth of SMMEs, in
the ICT industry, as well as their entry into e-business, to stimulate economic
growth and job creation as elements of a strategy for poverty reduction through
wealth creation.
17. E-learning (see section C4)
18. E-health
a) Promote collaborative efforts of governments, planners, health
professionals, and other agencies along with the participation of international
organizations for creating reliable, timely, high-quality and affordable health
care and health information systems and for promoting continuous medical
training, education, and research through the use of ICTs, while respecting
and protecting citizens’ right to privacy.
b) Facilitate access to the world’s medical knowledge and locally relevant
content resources for strengthening public health research and prevention
programmes and promoting women’s and men’s health, such as content on
sexual and reproductive health and sexually transmitted infections, and for
diseases that attract full attention of the world, including HIV/AIDS, malaria
and tuberculosis.
42 World Summit on the Information Society
Geneva 2003
World Summit on the Information Society 43
Plan of Action
c) Alert, monitor and control the spread of communicable diseases, through
the improvement of common information systems.
d) Promote the development of international standards for the exchange of
health data, taking due account of privacy concerns.
e) Encourage the adoption of ICTs to improve and extend health care and
health information systems to remote and underserved areas and vulnerable
populations, recognizing women’s roles as health providers in their families
and communities.
f) Strengthen and expand ICT-based initiatives for providing medical and
humanitarian assistance in disasters and emergencies.
19. E-employment
a) Encourage the development of best practices for e-workers and e-employers
built, at the national level, on principles of fairness and gender equality,
respecting all relevant international norms.
b) Promote new ways of organizing work and business with the aim of raising
productivity, growth and well-being through investment in ICTs and human
resources.
c) Promote teleworking to allow citizens, particularly in the developing
countries, LDCs, and small economies, to live in their societies and work
anywhere, and to increase employment opportunities for women, and for
those with disabilities. In promoting teleworking, special attention should
be given to strategies promoting job creation and the retention of the skilled
working force.
d) Promote early intervention programmes in science and technology that
should target young girls to increase the number of women in ICT carriers.
20. E-environment
a) Governments, in cooperation with other stakeholders, are encouraged to
use and promote ICTs as an instrument for environmental protection and the
sustainable use of natural resources.
b) Government, civil society and the private sector are encouraged to initiate
actions and implement projects and programmes for sustainable production
and consumption and the environmentally safe disposal and recycling of
discarded hardware and components used in ICTs.
c) Establish monitoring systems, using ICTs, to forecast and monitor the impact
of natural and man-made disasters, particularly in developing countries, LDCs
and small economies.
44 World Summit on the Information Society
Geneva 2003
21. E-agriculture
a) Ensure the systematic dissemination of information using ICTs on
agriculture, animal husbandry, fi sheries, forestry and food, in order to provide
ready access to comprehensive, up-to-date and detailed knowledge and
information, particularly in rural areas.
b) Public-private partnerships should seek to maximize the use of ICTs as an
instrument to improve production (quantity and quality).
22. E-science
a) Promote affordable and reliable high-speed Internet connection for
all universities and research institutions to support their critical role in
information and knowledge production, education and training, and to support
the establishment of partnerships, cooperation and networking between these
institutions.
b) Promote electronic publishing, differential pricing and open access
initiatives to make scientifi c information affordable and accessible in all
countries on an equitable basis.
c) Promote the use of peer-to-peer technology to share scientifi c knowledge
and pre-prints and reprints written by scientifi c authors who have waived their
right to payment.
d) Promote the long-term systematic and effi cient collection, dissemination
and preservation of essential scientifi c digital data, for example, population
and meteorological data in all countries.
e) Promote principles and metadata standards to facilitate cooperation and
effective use of collected scientifi c information and data as appropriate to
conduct scientifi c research.
C8. Cultural diversity and identity, linguistic diversity and local content
23. Cultural and linguistic diversity, while stimulating respect for cultural identity,
traditions and religions, is essential to the development of an Information Society
based on the dialogue among cultures and regional and international cooperation.
It is an important factor for sustainable development.
a) Create policies that support the respect, preservation, promotion and
enhancement of cultural and linguistic diversity and cultural heritage within the
Information Society, as refl ected in relevant agreed United Nations documents,
including UNESCO’s Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity. This includes
encouraging governments to design cultural policies to promote the production
of cultural, educational and scientifi c content and the development of local
cultural industries suited to the linguistic and cultural context of the users.
World Summit on the Information Society 45
Plan of Action
46 World Summit on the Information Society
Geneva 2003
b) Develop national policies and laws to ensure that libraries, archives,
museums and other cultural institutions can play their full role of content,
including traditional knowledge providers in the Information Society, more
particularly by providing continued access to recorded information.
c) Support efforts to develop and use ICTs for the preservation of natural
and cultural heritage, keeping it accessible as a living part of today’s culture.
This includes developing systems for ensuring continued access to archived
digital information and multimedia content in digital repositories, and support
archives, cultural collections and libraries as the memory of humankind.
d) Develop and implement policies that preserve, affi rm, respect and promote
diversity of cultural expression and indigenous knowledge and traditions
through the creation of varied information content and the use of different
methods, including the digitization of the educational, scientifi c and cultural
heritage.
e) Support local content development, translation and adaptation, digital
archives, and diverse forms of digital and traditional media by local authorities.
These activities can also strengthen local and indigenous communities.
f) Provide content that is relevant to the cultures and languages of individuals
in the Information Society, through access to traditional and digital media
services.
g) Through public/private partnerships, foster the creation of varied local and
national content, including that available in the language of users, and give
recognition and support to ICT-based work in all artistic fi elds.
h) Strengthen programmes focused on gender-sensitive curricula in formal
and non-formal education for all and enhancing communication and media
literacy for women with a view to building the capacity of girls and women to
understand and to develop ICT content.
i) Nurture the local capacity for the creation and distribution of software in
local languages, as well as content that is relevant to different segments of
population, including non-literate, persons with disabilities, disadvantaged
and vulnerable groups especially in developing countries and countries with
economies in transition.
j) Give support to media based in local communities and support projects
combining the use of traditional media and new technologies for their role in
facilitating the use of local languages, for documenting and preserving local
heritage, including landscape and biological diversity, and as a means to reach
rural and isolated and nomadic communities.
k) Enhance the capacity of indigenous peoples to develop content in their
own languages.
World Summit on the Information Society 47
Plan of Action
l) Cooperate with indigenous peoples and traditional communities to enable
them to more effectively use and benefi t from the use of their traditional
knowledge in the Information Society.
m) Exchange knowledge, experiences and best practices on policies and
tools designed to promote cultural and linguistic diversity at regional and subregional
levels. This can be achieved by establishing regional, and sub-regional
working groups on specifi c issues of this Plan of Action to foster integration
efforts.
n) Assess at the regional level the contribution of ICT to cultural exchange and
interaction, and based on the outcome of this assessment, design relevant
programmes.
o) Governments, through public/private partnerships, should promote
technologies and R&D programmes in such areas as translation, iconographies,
voice-assisted services and the development of necessary hardware and a
variety of software models, including proprietary, open-source software and
free software, such as standard character sets, language codes, electronic
dictionaries, terminology and thesauri, multilingual search engines, machine
translation tools, internationalized domain names, content referencing as well
as general and application software.
C9. Media
24. The media — in their various forms and with a diversity of ownership — as an
actor, have an essential role in the development of the Information Society and are
recognized as an important contributor to freedom of expression and plurality of
information.
a) Encourage the media — print and broadcast as well as new media — to
continue to play an important role in the Information Society.
b) Encourage the development of domestic legislation that guarantees the
independence and plurality of the media.
c) Take appropriate measures — consistent with freedom of expression — to
combat illegal and harmful content in media content.
d) Encourage media professionals in developed countries to establish
partnerships and networks with the media in developing ones, especially in
the fi eld of training.
e) Promote balanced and diverse portrayals of women and men by the
media.
48 World Summit on the Information Society
Geneva 2003
f) Reduce international imbalances affecting the media, particularly as
regards infrastructure, technical resources and the development of human
skills, taking full advantage of ICT tools in this regard.
g) Encourage traditional media to bridge the knowledge divide and to facilitate
the fl ow of cultural content, particularly in rural areas.
C10. Ethical dimensions of the Information Society
25. The Information Society should be subject to universally held values and
promote the common good and prevent abusive uses of ICTs.
a) Take steps to promote respect for peace and to uphold the fundamental
values of freedom, equality, solidarity, tolerance, shared responsibility, and
respect for nature.
b) All stakeholders should increase their awareness of the ethical dimension
of their use of ICTs.
c) All actors in the Information Society should promote the common good,
protect privacy and personal data and take appropriate actions and preventive
measures, as determined by law, against abusive uses of ICTs such as illegal
and other acts motivated by racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and
related intolerance, hatred, violence, all forms of child abuse, including
paedophilia and child pornography, and traffi cking in, and exploitation of,
human beings.
d) Invite relevant stakeholders, especially the academia, to continue research
on ethical dimensions of ICTs.
C11. International and regional cooperation
26. International cooperation among all stakeholders is vital in the implementation
of this Plan of Action and needs to be strengthened with a view to promoting
universal access and bridging the digital divide, inter alia, by provision of means
of implementation.
a) Governments of developing countries should raise the relative priority
of ICT projects in requests for international cooperation and assistance
on infrastructure development projects from developed countries and
international fi nancial organizations.
b) Within the context of the UN’s Global Compact and building upon the
United Nations Millennium Declaration, build on and accelerate public-private
partnerships, focusing on the use of ICT in development.
World Summit on the Information Society 49
Plan of Action
c) Invite international and regional organizations to mainstream ICTs in their
work programmes and to assist all levels of developing countries, to be involved
in the preparation and implementation of national action plans to support the
fulfi lment of the goals indicated in the Declaration of Principles and in this
Plan of Action, taking into account the importance of regional initiatives.
50 World Summit on the Information Society
Geneva 2003
D. Digital Solidarity Agenda
27. The Digital Solidarity Agenda aims at putting in place the conditions for mobilizing
human, fi nancial and technological resources for inclusion of all men and women
in the emerging Information Society. Close national, regional and international
cooperation among all stakeholders in the implementation of this Agenda is vital.
To overcome the digital divide, we need to use more effi ciently existing approaches
and mechanisms and fully explore new ones, in order to provide fi nancing for the
development of infrastructure, equipment, capacity building and content, which are
essential for participation in the Information Society.
D1. Priorities and strategies
a) National e-strategies should be made an integral part of national
development plans, including Poverty Reduction Strategies.
b) ICTs should be fully mainstreamed into strategies for Offi cial Development
Assistance (ODA) through more effective donor information-sharing and
coordination, and through analysis and sharing of best practices and lessons
learned from experience with ICT for development programmes.
D2. Mobilizing resources
a) All countries and international organizations should act to create conditions
conducive to increasing the availability and effective mobilization of resources
for fi nancing development as elaborated in the Monterrey Consensus.
b) Developed countries should make concrete efforts to fulfi l their international
commitments to fi nancing development including the Monterrey Consensus, in
which developed countries that have not done so are urged to make concrete
efforts towards the target of 0.7 per cent of Gross National Product (GNP) as
ODA to developing countries and 0.15 to 0.20 per cent of GNP of developed
countries to least developed countries.
c) For those developing countries facing unsustainable debt burdens,
we welcome initiatives that have been undertaken to reduce outstanding
indebtedness and invite further national and international measures in that
regard, including, as appropriate, debt cancellation and other arrangements.
Particular attention should be given to enhancing the Heavily Indebted Poor
Countries initiative. These initiatives would release more resources that may
be used for fi nancing ICT for development projects.
World Summit on the Information Society 51
Plan of Action
d) Recognizing the potential of ICT for development, we furthermore
advocate:
i. developing countries to increase their efforts to attract major private
national and foreign investments for ICTs through the creation of a
transparent, stable and predictable enabling investment environment;
ii. developed countries and international fi nancial organizations to
be responsive to the strategies and priorities of ICTs for development,
mainstream ICTs in their work programmes, and assist developing
countries and countries with economies in transition to prepare and
implement their national e-strategies. Based on the priorities of national
development plans and implementation of the above commitments,
developed countries should increase their efforts to provide more fi nancial
resources to developing countries in harnessing ICTs for development;
iii. the private sector to contribute to the implementation of this Digital
Solidarity Agenda.
e) In our efforts to bridge the digital divide, we should promote, within our
development cooperation, technical and fi nancial assistance directed towards
national and regional capacity building, technology transfer on mutually agreed
terms, cooperation in R&D programmes and exchange of know-how.
f) While all existing fi nancial mechanisms should be fully exploited, a thorough
review of their adequacy in meeting the challenges of ICT for development
should be completed by the end of December 2004. This review shall be
conducted by a Task Force under the auspices of the Secretary-General of the
United Nations and submitted for consideration to the second phase of this
Summit. Based on the conclusion of the review, improvements and innovations
of fi nancing mechanisms will be considered including the effectiveness, the
feasibility and the creation of a voluntary Digital Solidarity Fund, as mentioned
in the Declaration of Principles.
g) Countries should consider establishing national mechanisms to achieve
universal access in both underserved rural and urban areas, in order to bridge
the digital divide.
52 World Summit on the Information Society
Geneva 2003
E. Follow-up and Evaluation
28. A realistic international performance evaluation and benchmarking (both
qualitative and quantitative), through comparable statistical indicators and
research results, should be developed to follow up the implementation of the
objectives, goals and targets in the Plan of Action, taking into account different
national circumstances.
a) In cooperation with each country concerned, develop and launch a
composite ICT Development (Digital Opportunity) Index. It could be published
annually, or every two years, in an ICT Development Report. The index could
show the statistics while the report would present analytical work on policies
and their implementation, depending on national circumstances, including
gender analysis.
b) Appropriate indicators and benchmarking, including community connectivity
indicators, should clarify the magnitude of the digital divide, in both its
domestic and international dimensions, and keep it under regular assessment,
and track global progress in the use of ICTs to achieve internationally agreed
development goals, including those of the Millennium Declaration.
c) International and regional organizations should assess and report regularly
on universal accessibility of nations to ICTs, with the aim of creating equitable
opportunities for the growth of ICT sectors of developing countries.
d) Gender-specifi c indicators on ICT use and needs should be developed, and
measurable performance indicators should be identifi ed to assess the impact
of funded ICT projects on the lives of women and girls.
e) Develop and launch a website on best practices and success stories,
based on a compilation of contributions from all stakeholders, in a concise,
accessible and compelling format, following the internationally recognized
web accessibility standards. The website could be periodically updated and
turned into a permanent experience-sharing exercise.
f) All countries and regions should develop tools so as to provide statistical
information on the Information Society, with basic indicators and analysis
of its key dimensions. Priority should be given to setting up coherent and
internationally comparable indicator systems, taking into account different
levels of development.
World Summit on the Information Society 53
Plan of Action
F. Towards WSIS Phase 2 (Tunis)
29. Recalling General Assembly Resolution 56/183 and taking into account the
outcome of the Geneva phase of the WSIS, a preparatory meeting will be held in
the fi rst half of 2004 to review those issues of the Information Society which should
form the focus of the Tunis phase of the WSIS and to agree on the structure of the
preparatory process for the second phase. In line with the decision of this Summit
concerning its Tunis phase, the second phase of the WSIS should consider, inter
alia:
a) Elaboration of fi nal appropriate documents based on the outcome of the
Geneva phase of the WSIS with a view to consolidating the process of building
a global Information Society, and reducing the Digital Divide and transforming
it into digital opportunities; and
b) Follow-up and implementation of the Geneva Plan of Action at national,
regional and international levels, including the United Nations system, as part
of an integrated and coordinated approach, calling upon the participation of all
relevant stakeholders. This should take place, inter alia, through partnerships
among stakeholders.
Geneva, 12 December 2003

World Summit on the Information Society 55
Plan of Action
COMMITMENT
T U N I S
56 World Summit on the Information Society
Geneva 2003
World Summit on the Information Society 57
Tunis Commitment
1. We, the representatives of the peoples of the world, have gathered in Tunis
from 16-18 November 2005 for this second phase of the World Summit on the
Information Society (WSIS) to reiterate our unequivocal support for the Geneva
Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action adopted at the fi rst phase of the World
Summit on the Information Society in Geneva in December 2003.
2. We reaffi rm our desire and commitment to build a people-centred, inclusive and
development-oriented Information Society, premised on the purposes and principles
of the Charter of the United Nations, international law and multilateralism, and
respecting fully and upholding the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, so that
people everywhere can create, access, utilize and share information and knowledge,
to achieve their full potential and to attain the internationally agreed development
goals and objectives, including the Millennium Development Goals.
3. We reaffi rm the universality, indivisibility, interdependence and interrelation of
all human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the right to development, as
enshrined in the Vienna Declaration. We also reaffi rm that democracy, sustainable
development, and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms as well
as good governance at all levels are interdependent and mutually reinforcing.
We further resolve to strengthen respect for the rule of law in international as in
national affairs.
4. We reaffi rm paragraphs 4, 5 and 55 of the Geneva Declaration of Principles.
We recognize that freedom of expression and the free fl ow of information,
ideas, and knowledge, are essential for the Information Society and benefi cial to
development.
5. The Tunis Summit represents a unique opportunity to raise awareness of
the benefi ts that Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) can bring
to humanity and the manner in which they can transform people’s activities,
interactions and lives and thus, increase confi dence in the future.
6. This Summit is an important stepping-stone in the world’s efforts to eradicate
poverty and to attain the internationally agreed development goals and objectives,
including the Millennium Development Goals. By the Geneva decisions,
we established a coherent long-term link between the WSIS process, and other
relevant major United Nations conferences and summits. We call upon governments,
private sector, civil society and international organizations to join together to
implement the commitments set forth in the Geneva Declaration of Principles and
Plan of Action. In this context, the outcomes of the recently concluded 2005 World
Summit on the review of the implementation of the Millennium Declaration are of
special relevance.
58 World Summit on the Information Society
Tunis 2005
7. We reaffi rm the commitments made in Geneva and build on them in Tunis
by focusing on fi nancial mechanisms for bridging the digital divide, on Internet
governance and related issues, as well as on follow-up and implementation of the
Geneva and Tunis decisions, as referenced in the Tunis Agenda for the Information
Society.
8. While reaffi rming the important roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders as
outlined in paragraph 3 of the Geneva Plan of Action, we acknowledge the key role
and responsibilities of governments in the WSIS process.
9. We reaffi rm our resolution in the quest to ensure that everyone can benefi t from
the opportunities that ICTs can offer, by recalling that governments, as well as private
sector, civil society and the United Nations and other international organizations,
should work together to: improve access to information and communication
infrastructure and technologies as well as to information and knowledge; build
capacity; increase confi dence and security in the use of ICTs; create an enabling
environment at all levels; develop and widen ICT applications; foster and respect
cultural diversity; recognize the role of the media; address the ethical dimensions
of the Information Society; and encourage international and regional cooperation.
We confi rm that these are the key principles for building an inclusive Information
Society, the elaboration of which is found in the Geneva Declaration of Principles.
10. We recognize that access to information and sharing and creation of
knowledge contributes signifi cantly to strengthening economic, social and cultural
development, thus helping all countries to reach the internationally agreed
development goals and objectives, including the Millennium Development Goals.
This process can be enhanced by removing barriers to universal, ubiquitous,
equitable and affordable access to information. We underline the importance of
removing barriers to bridging the digital divide, particularly those that hinder the
full achievement of the economic, social and cultural development of countries and
the welfare of their people, in particular, in developing countries.
11. Furthermore, ICTs are making it possible for a vastly larger population than at
any time in the past to join in sharing and expanding the base of human knowledge,
and contributing to its further growth in all spheres of human endeavour as well
as its application to education, health and science. ICTs have enormous potential
to expand access to quality education, to boost literacy and universal primary
education, and to facilitate the learning process itself, thus laying the groundwork
for the establishment of a fully inclusive and development-oriented Information
Society and knowledge economy which respect cultural and linguistic diversity.
12. We emphasize that the adoption of ICTs by enterprises plays a fundamental
role in economic growth. The growth and productivity enhancing effects of wellimplemented
investments in ICTs can lead to increased trade and to more and
World Summit on the Information Society 59
Tunis Commitment
better employment. For this reason, both enterprise development and labour market
policies play a fundamental role in the adoption of ICTs. We invite governments and
the private sector to enhance the capacity of Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises
(SMMEs), since they furnish the greatest number of jobs in most economies. We shall
work together, with all stakeholders, to put in place the necessary policy, legal and
regulatory frameworks that foster entrepreneurship, particularly for SMMEs.
13. We also recognize that the ICT revolution can have a tremendous positive
impact as an instrument of sustainable development. In addition, an appropriate
enabling environment at national and international levels could prevent increasing
social and economic divisions, and the widening of the gap between rich and poor
countries, regions, and individuals — including between men and women.
14. We also recognize that in addition to building ICT infrastructure, there should
be adequate emphasis on developing human capacity and creating ICT applications
and digital content in local language, where appropriate, so as to ensure a
comprehensive approach to building a global Information Society.
15. Recognizing the principles of universal and non-discriminatory access to ICTs
for all nations, the need to take into account the level of social and economic
development of each country, and respecting the development-oriented aspects
of the Information Society, we underscore that ICTs are effective tools to promote
peace, security and stability, to enhance democracy, social cohesion, good
governance and the rule of law, at national, regional and international levels. ICTs
can be used to promote economic growth and enterprise development. Infrastructure
development, human capacity building, information security and network security
are critical to achieve these goals. We further recognize the need to effectively
confront challenges and threats resulting from the use of ICTs for purposes that are
inconsistent with objectives of maintaining international stability and security and
may adversely affect the integrity of the infrastructure within States, to the detriment
of their security. It is necessary to prevent the abuse of information resources and
technologies for criminal and terrorist purposes, while respecting human rights.
16. We further commit ourselves to evaluate and follow up progress in bridging
the digital divide, taking into account different levels of development, so as to reach
internationally agreed development goals and objectives, including the Millennium
Development Goals, and to assess the effectiveness of investment and international
cooperation efforts in building the Information Society.
17. We urge governments, using the potential of ICTs, to create public systems
of information on laws and regulations, envisaging a wider development of public
access points and supporting the broad availability of this information.
60 World Summit on the Information Society
Geneva 2003
World Summit on the Information Society 61
Tunis Commitment
18. We shall strive unremittingly, therefore, to promote universal, ubiquitous,
equitable and affordable access to ICTs, including universal design and assistive
technologies, for all people, especially those with disabilities, everywhere, to ensure
that the benefi ts are more evenly distributed between and within societies, and to
bridge the digital divide in order to create digital opportunities for all and benefi t
from the potential offered by ICTs for development.
19. The international community should take necessary measures to ensure that
all countries of the world have equitable and affordable access to ICTs, so that their
benefi ts in the fi elds of socio-economic development and bridging the digital divide
are truly inclusive.
20. To that end, we shall pay particular attention to the special needs of marginalized
and vulnerable groups of society including migrants, internally displaced persons
and refugees, unemployed and underprivileged people, minorities and nomadic
people, older persons and persons with disabilities.
21. To that end, we shall pay special attention to the particular needs of people
of developing countries, countries with economies in transition, Least Developed
Countries, Small Island Developing States, Landlocked Developing Countries, Highly
Indebted Poor Countries, countries and territories under occupation, and countries
recovering from confl ict or natural disasters.
22. In the evolution of the Information Society, particular attention must be given
to the special situation of indigenous peoples, as well as to the preservation of their
heritage and their cultural legacy.
23. We recognize that a gender divide exists as part of the digital divide in society
and we reaffi rm our commitment to women’s empowerment and to a gender
equality perspective, so that we can overcome this divide. We further acknowledge
that the full participation of women in the Information Society is necessary to ensure
the inclusiveness and respect for human rights within the Information Society.
We encourage all stakeholders to support women’s participation in decisionmaking
processes and to contribute to shaping all spheres of the Information
Society at international, regional and national levels.
24. We recognize the role of ICTs in the protection of children and in enhancing the
development of children. We will strengthen action to protect children from abuse
and defend their rights in the context of ICTs. In that context, we emphasize that the
best interests of the child are a primary consideration.
62 World Summit on the Information Society
Tunis 2005
25. We reaffi rm our commitment to empowering young people as key contributors
to building an inclusive Information Society. We will actively engage youth in
innovative ICT-based development programmes and widen opportunities for youth
to be involved in e-strategy processes.
26. We recognize the importance of creative content and applications to overcome
the digital divide and to contribute to the achievement of the internationally agreed
development goals and objectives, including the Millennium Development Goals.
27. We recognize that equitable and sustainable access to information requires
the implementation of strategies for the long-term preservation of the digital
information that is being created.
28. We reaffi rm our desire to build ICT networks and develop applications, in
partnership with the private sector, based on open or interoperable standards that
are affordable and accessible to all, available anywhere and anytime, to anyone and
on any device, leading to a ubiquitous network.
29. Our conviction is that governments, the private sector, civil society, the scientifi c
and academic community, and users can utilize various technologies and licensing
models, including those developed under proprietary schemes and those developed
under open-source and free modalities, in accordance with their interests and with
the need to have reliable services and implement effective programmes for their
people. Taking into account the importance of proprietary software in the markets
of the countries, we reiterate the need to encourage and foster collaborative
development, inter-operative platforms and free and open-source software, in ways
that refl ect the possibilities of different software models, notably for education,
science and digital inclusion programmes.
30. Recognizing that disaster mitigation can signifi cantly support efforts to bring
about sustainable development and help in poverty reduction, we reaffi rm our
commitment to leveraging ICT capabilities and potential through fostering and
strengthening cooperation at the national, regional, and international levels.
31. We commit ourselves to work together towards the implementation of the
Digital Solidarity Agenda, as agreed in paragraph 27 of the Geneva Plan of Action.
The full and quick implementation of that agenda, observing good governance at all
levels, requires in particular a timely, effective, comprehensive and durable solution
to the debt problems of developing countries where appropriate, a universal, rulebased,
open, non-discriminatory and equitable multilateral trading system, that
can also stimulate development worldwide, benefi ting countries at all stages of
development, as well as, to seek and effectively implement concrete international
approaches and mechanisms to increase international cooperation and assistance
to bridge the digital divide.
World Summit on the Information Society 63
Tunis Commitment
32. We further commit ourselves to promote the inclusion of all peoples in the
Information Society through the development and use of local and/or indigenous
languages in ICTs. We will continue our efforts to protect and promote cultural
diversity, as well as cultural identities, within the Information Society.
33. We acknowledge that, while technical cooperation can help, capacity building
at all levels is needed to ensure that the required institutional and individual
expertise is available.
34. We recognize the need for, and strive to mobilize resources, both human and
fi nancial, in accordance with Chapter Two of the Tunis Agenda for the Information
Society, to enable us to increase the use of ICTs for development and realize the
short-, medium- and long-term plans dedicated to building the Information Society
as follow-up and implementation of the outcomes of WSIS.
35. We recognize the central role of public policy in setting the framework in which
resource mobilization can take place.
36. We value the potential of ICTs to promote peace and to prevent confl ict which,
inter alia, negatively affects achieving development goals. ICTs can be used for
identifying confl ict situations through early-warning systems preventing confl icts,
promoting their peaceful resolution, supporting humanitarian action, including
protection of civilians in armed confl icts, facilitating peacekeeping missions, and
assisting post-confl ict peace-building and reconstruction.
37. We are convinced that our goals can be accomplished through the involvement,
cooperation and partnership of governments and other stakeholders, i.e. the
private sector, civil society and international organizations, and that international
cooperation and solidarity at all levels are indispensable if the fruits of the
Information Society are to benefi t all.
38. Our efforts should not stop with the conclusion of the Summit. The emergence
of the global Information Society to which we all contribute provides increasing
opportunities for all our peoples and for an inclusive global community that were
unimaginable only a few years ago. We must harness these opportunities today
and support their further development and progress.
39. We reaffi rm our strong resolve to develop and implement an effective and
sustainable response to the challenges and opportunities of building a truly global
Information Society that benefi ts all our peoples.
40. We strongly believe in the full and timely implementation of the decisions
we took in Geneva and Tunis, as outlined in the Tunis Agenda for the Information
Society.
Tunis, 18 November 2005

World Summit on the Information Society 65
Tunis Commitment
AGENDA
FOR THE INFORMATION SOCIETY
T U N I S
66 World Summit on the Information Society
Tunis 2005
World Summit on the Information Society 67
Agenda for the Information Society
A. Introduction
1. We recognize that it is now time to move from principles to action, considering
the work already being done in implementing the Geneva Plan of Action and
identifying those areas where progress has been made, is being made, or has not
taken place.
2. We reaffi rm the commitments made in Geneva and build on them in Tunis
by focusing on fi nancial mechanisms for bridging the digital divide, on Internet
governance and related issues, as well as on implementation and follow-up of the
Geneva and Tunis decisions.
B. Financial Mechanisms for Meeting the Challenges of
ICT for Development
3. We thank the UN Secretary-General for his efforts in creating the Task Force on
Financial Mechanisms (TFFM) and we commend the members on their report.
4. We recall that the mandate of the TFFM was to undertake a thorough review of
the adequacy of existing fi nancial mechanisms in meeting the challenges of ICT for
development.
5. The TFFM report sets out the complexity of existing mechanisms, both private
and public, which provide fi nancing for ICTs in developing countries. It identifi es
areas where these could be improved and where ICTs could be given higher priority
by developing countries and their development partners.
6. Based on the conclusion of the review of the report, we have considered the
improvements and innovations of fi nancing mechanisms, including the creation
of a voluntary Digital Solidarity Fund, as mentioned in the Geneva Declaration of
Principles.
7. We recognize the existence of the digital divide and the challenges that this
poses for many countries, which are forced to choose between many competing
objectives in their development planning and in demands for development funds
whilst having limited resources.
8. We recognize the scale of the problem in bridging the digital divide, which will
require adequate and sustainable investments in ICT infrastructure and services,
and capacity building, and transfer of technology over many years to come.
68 World Summit on the Information Society
Tunis 2005
9. We call upon the international community to promote the transfer of technology
on mutually agreed terms, including ICTs, to adopt policies and programmes with
a view to assisting developing countries to take advantage of technology in their
pursuit of development through, inter alia, technical cooperation and the building
of scientifi c and technological capacity in our efforts to bridge the digital and
development divides.
10. We recognize that the internationally agreed development goals and
objectives, including the Millennium Development Goals, are fundamental. The
Monterrey Consensus on Financing for Development is the basis for the pursuit of
adequate and appropriate fi nancial mechanisms to promote ICTs for development,
in accordance with the Digital Solidarity Agenda of the Geneva Plan of Action.
11. We recognize and acknowledge the special and specifi c funding needs of
the developing world, as referred to in paragraph 16 of the Geneva Declaration of
Principles*, which faces numerous challenges in the ICT sector, and that there is
strong need to focus on their special fi nancing needs to achieve the internationally
agreed development goals and objectives, including the Millennium Development
Goals.
12. We agree that the fi nancing of ICT for development needs to be placed in
the context of the growing importance of the role of ICTs, not only as a medium
of communication, but also as a development enabler, and as a tool for the
achievement of the internationally agreed development goals and objectives,
including the Millennium Development Goals.
13. In the past, fi nancing of ICT infrastructure in most developing countries has
been based on public investment. Lately, a signifi cant infl ux of investment has
taken place where private-sector participation has been encouraged, based on a
sound regulatory framework, and where public policies aimed at bridging the digital
divide have been implemented.
14. We are greatly encouraged by the fact that advances in communication
technology, and high-speed data networks are continuously increasing the
possibilities for developing countries, and countries with economies in transition,
to participate in the global market for ICT-enabled services on the basis of their
comparative advantage. These emerging opportunities provide a powerful
commercial basis for ICT infrastructural investment in these countries. Therefore,
governments should take action, in the framework of national development policies,
* For reference, Paragraph 16 of the Geneva Declaration of Principles reads as follows:
We continue to pay special attention to the particular needs of people of developing countries, countries with
economies in transition, Least Developed Countries, Small Island Developing States, Landlocked Developing Countries,
Highly Indebted Poor Countries, countries and territories under occupation, countries recovering from confl ict and
countries and regions with special needs as well as to conditions that pose severe threats to development, such as
natural disasters.
World Summit on the Information Society 69
Agenda for the Information Society
in order to support an enabling and competitive environment for the necessary
investment in ICT infrastructure and for the development of new services. At
the same time, countries should pursue policies and measures that would not
discourage, impede or prevent the continued participation of these countries in the
global market for ICT-enabled services.
15. We take note that the challenges for expanding the scope of useful accessible
information content in the developing world are numerous; in particular, the issue
of fi nancing for various forms of content and applications requires new attention, as
this area has often been overlooked by the focus on ICT infrastructure.
16. We recognize that attracting investment in ICTs has depended crucially upon
an enabling environment, including good governance at all levels, and a supportive,
transparent and pro-competitive policy and regulatory framework, refl ecting national
realities.
17. We endeavour to engage in a proactive dialogue on matters related to corporate
social responsibility and good corporate governance of transnational corporations
and their contribution to the economic and social development of developing
countries in our efforts to bridge the digital divide.
18. We underline that market forces alone cannot guarantee the full participation
of developing countries in the global market for ICT-enabled services. Therefore, we
encourage the strengthening of international cooperation and solidarity aimed at
enabling all countries, especially those referred to in paragraph 16 of the Geneva
Declaration of Principles, to develop ICT infrastructure and ICT-enabled services
that are viable and competitive at national and international levels.
19. We recognize that, in addition to the public sector, fi nancing of ICT infrastructure
by the private sector has come to play an important role in many countries and
that domestic fi nancing is being augmented by North-South fl ows and South-South
cooperation.
20. We recognize that, as a result of the growing impact of sustainable private-sector
investment in infrastructure, multilateral and bilateral public donors are redirecting
public resources to other development objectives, including Poverty Reduction
Strategy Papers and related programmes, policy reforms and mainstreaming of
ICTs and capacity development. We encourage all governments to give appropriate
priority to ICTs, including traditional ICTs such as broadcast radio and television, in
their national development strategies. We also encourage multilateral institutions
as well as bilateral public donors to consider providing more fi nancial support for
regional and large-scale national ICT infrastructure projects and related capacity
development. They should consider aligning their aid and partnership strategies
with the priorities set by developing countries and countries with economies in
transition in their national development strategies including their poverty reduction
strategies.
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21. We recognize that public fi nance plays a crucial role in providing ICT access
and services to rural areas and disadvantaged populations, including those in
Small Island Developing States and Landlocked Developing Countries.
22. We note that ICT-related capacity-building needs represent a high priority in all
developing countries and the current fi nancing levels have not been adequate to
meet the needs, although there are many different funding mechanisms supporting
ICTs for Development.
23. We recognize that there are a number of areas in need of greater fi nancial
resources and where current approaches to ICTs for development fi nancing have
devoted insuffi cient attention to date. These include:
a) ICT capacity-building programmes, materials, tools, educational funding
and specialized training initiatives, especially for regulators and other publicsector
employees and organizations.
b) Communications access and connectivity for ICT services and applications
in remote rural areas, Small Island Developing States, Landlocked Developing
Countries and other locations presenting unique technological and market
challenges.
c) Regional backbone infrastructure, regional networks, Network Access
Points and related regional projects, to link networks across borders and in
economically disadvantaged regions which may require coordinated policies
including legal, regulatory and fi nancial frameworks, and seed fi nancing and
that would benefi t from sharing experiences and best practices.
d) Broadband capacity to facilitate the delivery of a broader range of
services and applications, promote investment and provide Internet access at
affordable prices to both existing and new users.
e) Coordinated assistance, as appropriate, for countries referred to in
paragraph 16 of the Geneva Declaration of Principles, particularly Least
Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States, in order to improve
effectiveness and to lower transaction costs associated with the delivery of
international donor support.
f) ICT applications and content aimed at the integration of ICTs into the
implementation of poverty eradication strategies and in sector programmes,
particularly in health, education, agriculture and the environment.
In addition, there is a need to consider the following other issues, which are relevant
to ICTs for development and which have not received adequate attention:
g) Sustainability of Information Society related projects, for example the
maintenance of ICT infrastructure.
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h) Special needs of Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs), such as
funding requirements.
i) Local development and manufacturing of ICT applications and technologies
by developing countries.
j) Activities on ICT-related institutional reform and enhanced capacity on legal
and regulatory framework.
k) Improving organizational structures and business-process change aimed at
optimizing the impact and effectiveness of ICT projects and other projects with
signifi cant ICT components.
l) Local government and initiatives based in local communities that deliver
ICT services to communities in areas such as education, health and livelihood
support.
24. Recognizing that the central responsibility for coordination of public fi nancing
programmes and public ICT development initiatives rests with governments,
we recommend that further cross-sectoral and cross-institutional coordination
should be undertaken, both on the part of donors and recipients within the national
framework.
25. Multilateral development banks and institutions should consider adapting their
existing mechanisms, and where appropriate designing new ones, to provide for
national and regional demands on ICT development.
26. We acknowledge the following prerequisites for equitable and universal
accessibility to and better utilization of fi nancial mechanisms:
a) Creating policy and regulatory incentives aimed at universal access and the
attraction of private-sector investment.
b) Identifi cation and acknowledgement of the key role of ICTs in national
development strategies, and their elaboration, when appropriate, in conjunction
with e-strategies.
c) Developing institutional and implementation capacity to support the
use of national universal service/access funds, and further study of these
mechanisms and those aiming to mobilize domestic resources.
d) Encouraging the development of locally relevant information, applications
and services that will benefi t developing countries and countries with
economies in transition.
e) Supporting the “scaling-up” of successful ICT-based pilot programmes.
f) Supporting the use of ICTs in government as a priority and a crucial target
area for ICT-based development interventions.
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g) Building human resource and institutional capacity (knowledge) at every
level for achieving Information Society objectives, especially in the public
sector.
h) Encouraging business-sector entities to help jump-start wider demand
for ICT services by supporting creative industries, local producers of cultural
content and applications as well as small businesses.
i) Strengthening capacities to enhance the potential of securitized funds and
utilizing them effectively.
27. We recommend improvements and innovations in existing fi nancing
mechanisms, including:
a) Improving fi nancial mechanisms to make fi nancial resources become
adequate, more predictable, preferably untied, and sustainable.
b) Enhancing regional cooperation and creating multi-stakeholder
partnerships, especially by creating incentives for building regional backbone
infrastructure.
c) Providing affordable access to ICTs, by the following measures:
i. reducing international Internet costs charged by backbone providers,
supporting, inter alia, the creation and development of regional ICT
backbones and Internet Exchange Points to reduce interconnection cost
and broaden network access;
ii. encouraging ITU to continue the study of the question of International
Internet Connectivity (IIC) as an urgent matter to develop appropriate
Recommendations.
d) Coordinating programmes among governments and major fi nancial players
to mitigate investment risks and transaction costs for operators entering less
attractive rural and low-income market segments.
e) Helping to accelerate the development of domestic fi nancial instruments,
including by supporting local microfi nance instruments, ICT business incubators,
public credit instruments, reverse auction mechanisms, networking initiatives
based on local communities, digital solidarity and other innovations.
f) Improving the ability to access fi nancing facilities with a view to accelerating
the pace of fi nancing of ICT infrastructure and services, including the promotion
of North-South fl ows as well as North-South and South-South cooperation.
g) Multilateral, regional and bilateral development organizations should
consider the utility of creating a virtual forum for the sharing of information
by all stakeholders on potential projects, on sources of fi nancing and on
institutional fi nancial mechanisms.
74 World Summit on the Information Society
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h) Enabling developing countries to be increasingly able to generate funds
for ICTs and to develop fi nancial instruments, including trust funds and seed
capital adapted to their economies.
i) Urging all countries to make concrete efforts to fulfi l their commitments
under the Monterrey Consensus.
j) Multilateral, regional and bilateral development organizations should
consider cooperating to enhance their capacity to provide rapid response with
a view to supporting developing countries that request assistance with respect
to ICT policies.
k) Encouraging increased voluntary contributions.
l) Making, as appropriate, effective use of debt relief mechanisms as outlined
in the Geneva Plan of Action, including inter alia debt cancellation and debt
swapping, that may be used for fi nancing ICT for development projects,
including those within the framework of Poverty Reduction Strategies.
28. We welcome the Digital Solidarity Fund (DSF) established in Geneva as
an innovative fi nancial mechanism of a voluntary nature open to interested
stakeholders with the objective of transforming the digital divide into digital
opportunities for the developing world by focusing mainly on specifi c and urgent
needs at the local level and seeking new voluntary sources of “solidarity” fi nance.
The DSF will complement existing mechanisms for funding the Information Society,
which should continue to be fully utilized to fund the growth of new ICT infrastructure
and services.
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C. Internet Governance
29. We reaffi rm the principles enunciated in the Geneva phase of the WSIS, in
December 2003, that the Internet has evolved into a global facility available to the
public and its governance should constitute a core issue of the Information Society
agenda. The international management of the Internet should be multilateral,
transparent and democratic, with the full involvement of governments, the private
sector, civil society and international organizations. It should ensure an equitable
distribution of resources, facilitate access for all and ensure a stable and secure
functioning of the Internet, taking into account multilingualism.
30. We acknowledge that the Internet, a central element of the infrastructure of
the Information Society, has evolved from a research and academic facility into a
global facility available to the public.
31. We recognize that Internet governance, carried out according to the Geneva
principles, is an essential element for a people-centred, inclusive, developmentoriented
and non-discriminatory Information Society. Furthermore, we commit
ourselves to the stability and security of the Internet as a global facility and to
ensuring the requisite legitimacy of its governance, based on the full participation
of all stakeholders, from both developed and developing countries, within their
respective roles and responsibilities.
32. We thank the UN Secretary-General for establishing the Working Group on
Internet Governance (WGIG). We commend the chairman, members and secretariat
for their work and for their report.
33. We take note of the WGIG report that has endeavoured to develop a working
defi nition of Internet governance. It has helped identify a number of public policy
issues that are relevant to Internet governance. The report has also enhanced
our understanding of the respective roles and responsibilities of governments,
intergovernmental and international organizations and other forums as well as the
private sector and civil society from both developing and developed countries.
34. A working defi nition of Internet governance is the development and application
by governments, the private sector and civil society, in their respective roles, of
shared principles, norms, rules, decision-making procedures, and programmes
that shape the evolution and use of the Internet.
35. We reaffi rm that the management of the Internet encompasses both
technical and public policy issues and should involve all stakeholders and relevant
intergovernmental and international organizations. In this respect, it is recognized
that:
76 World Summit on the Information Society
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a) Policy authority for Internet-related public policy issues is the sovereign
right of States. They have rights and responsibilities for international Internetrelated
public policy issues.
b) The private sector has had, and should continue to have, an important role
in the development of the Internet, both in the technical and economic fi elds.
c) Civil society has also played an important role on Internet matters, especially
at community level, and should continue to play such a role.
d) Intergovernmental organizations have had, and should continue to have,
a facilitating role in the coordination of Internet-related public policy issues.
e) International organizations have also had, and should continue to have, an
important role in the development of Internet-related technical standards and
relevant policies.
36. We recognize the valuable contribution by the academic and technical
communities within those stakeholder groups mentioned in paragraph 35 to the
evolution, functioning and development of the Internet.
37. We seek to improve the coordination of the activities of international and
intergovernmental organizations and other institutions concerned with Internet
governance and the exchange of information among themselves. A multi-stakeholder
approach should be adopted, as far as possible, at all levels.
38. We call for the reinforcement of specialized regional Internet resource
management institutions to guarantee the national interest and rights of countries
in that particular region to manage its own Internet resources, while maintaining
global coordination in this area.
39. We seek to build confi dence and security in the use of ICTs by strengthening
the trust framework. We reaffi rm the necessity to further promote, develop and
implement in cooperation with all stakeholders a global culture of cybersecurity,
as outlined in UNGA Resolution 57/239 and other relevant regional frameworks.
This culture requires national action and increased international cooperation to
strengthen security while enhancing the protection of personal information, privacy
and data. Continued development of the culture of cybersecurity should enhance
access and trade and must take into account the level of social and economic
development of each country and respect the development-oriented aspects of the
Information Society.
40. We underline the importance of the prosecution of cybercrime, including
cybercrime committed in one jurisdiction, but having effects in another. We further
underline the necessity of effective and effi cient tools and actions, at national and
international levels, to promote international cooperation among, inter alia, lawWorld
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enforcement agencies on cybercrime. We call upon governments in cooperation
with other stakeholders to develop necessary legislation for the investigation
and prosecution of cybercrime, noting existing frameworks, for example, UNGA
Resolutions 55/63 and 56/121 on Combating the criminal misuse of information
technologies and regional initiatives including, but not limited to, the Council of
Europe’s Convention on Cybercrime.
41. We resolve to deal effectively with the signifi cant and growing problem posed
by spam. We take note of current multilateral, multi-stakeholder frameworks for
regional and international cooperation on spam, for example, the APEC Anti-Spam
Strategy, the London Action Plan, the Seoul-Melbourne Anti-Spam Memorandum
of Understanding and the relevant activities of OECD and ITU. We call upon all
stakeholders, to adopt a multi-pronged approach to counter spam that includes, inter
alia, consumer and business education; appropriate legislation, law-enforcement
authorities and tools; the continued development of technical and self-regulatory
measures; best practices; and international cooperation.
42. We reaffi rm our commitment to the freedom to seek, receive, impart and
use information, in particular, for the creation, accumulation and dissemination
of knowledge. We affi rm that measures undertaken to ensure Internet stability
and security, to fi ght cybercrime and to counter spam, must protect and respect
the provisions for privacy and freedom of expression as contained in the relevant
parts of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Geneva Declaration of
Principles.
43. We reiterate our commitments to the positive uses of the Internet and other
ICTs and to take appropriate actions and preventive measures, as determined by
law, against abusive uses of ICTs as mentioned under the Ethical Dimensions of the
Information Society of the Geneva Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action.
44. We also underline the importance of countering terrorism in all its forms and
manifestations on the Internet, while respecting human rights and in compliance
with other obligations under international law, as outlined in UNGA A/60/L.1 with
reference to Article 85 of the 2005 World Summit Outcome.
45. We underline the importance of the security, continuity and stability of the
Internet, and the need to protect the Internet and other ICT networks from threats
and vulnerabilities. We affi rm the need for a common understanding of the issues
of Internet security, and for further cooperation to facilitate outreach, the collection
and dissemination of security-related information and exchange of good practice
among all stakeholders on measures to combat security threats, at national and
international levels.
78 World Summit on the Information Society
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46. We call upon all stakeholders to ensure respect for privacy and the protection
of personal information and data, whether via adoption of legislation, the
implementation of collaborative frameworks, best practices and self-regulatory and
technological measures by business and users. We encourage all stakeholders, in
particular governments, to reaffi rm the right of individuals to access information
according to Geneva Declaration of Principles and other mutually agreed relevant
international instruments, and to coordinate internationally as appropriate.
47. We recognize the increasing volume and value of all e-business, both within
and across national boundaries. We call for the development of national consumerprotection
laws and practices, and enforcement mechanisms where necessary,
to protect the right of consumers who purchase goods and services online, and
for enhanced international cooperation to facilitate a further expansion, in a
non-discriminatory way, under applicable national laws, of e-business as well as
consumer confi dence in it.
48. We note with satisfaction the increasing use of ICT by governments to serve
citizens and encourage countries that have not yet done so, to develop national
programmes and strategies for e-government.
49. We reaffi rm our commitment to turning the digital divide into digital
opportunity, and we commit to ensuring harmonious and equitable development
for all. We commit to foster and provide guidance on development areas in the
broader Internet governance arrangements, and to include, amongst other issues,
international interconnection costs, capacity building and technology/know-how
transfer. We encourage the realization of multilingualism in the Internet development
environment, and we support the development of software that renders itself easily
to localization, and enables users to choose appropriate solutions from different
software models including open-source, free and proprietary software.
50. We acknowledge that there are concerns, particularly amongst developing
countries, that the charges for international Internet connectivity should be better
balanced to enhance access. We therefore call for the development of strategies
for increasing affordable global connectivity, thereby facilitating improved and
equitable access for all, by:
a) Promoting Internet transit and interconnection costs that are commercially
negotiated in a competitive environment and that should be oriented towards
objective, transparent and non-discriminatory parameters, taking into account
ongoing work on this subject.
b) Setting up regional high-speed Internet backbone networks and the creation
of national, sub-regional and regional Internet Exchange Points (IXPs).
World Summit on the Information Society 79
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c) Recommending donor programmes and developmental fi nancing
mechanisms to consider the need to provide funding for initiatives that
advance connectivity, IXPs and local content for developing countries.
d) Encouraging ITU to continue the study of the question of International
Internet Connectivity (IIC) as a matter of urgency, and to periodically provide
output for consideration and possible implementation. We also encourage
other relevant institutions to address this issue.
e) Promoting the development and growth of low-cost terminal equipment,
such as individual and collective user devices, especially for use in developing
countries.
f) encouraging ISPs and other parties in the commercial negotiations to adopt
practices towards attainment of fair and balanced interconnectivity costs.
g) Encouraging relevant parties to commercially negotiate reduced
interconnection costs for Least Developed Countries (LDCs), taking into
account the special constraints of LDCs.
51. We encourage governments and other stakeholders, through partnerships
where appropriate, to promote ICT education and training in developing countries,
by establishing national strategies for ICT integration in education and workforce
development and dedicating appropriate resources. Furthermore, international
cooperation would be extended, on a voluntary basis, for capacity building in areas
relevant to Internet governance. This may include, in particular, building centres
of expertise and other institutions to facilitate know-how transfer and exchange of
best practices, in order to enhance the participation of developing countries and all
stakeholders in Internet governance mechanisms.
52. In order to ensure effective participation in global Internet governance, we urge
international organizations, including intergovernmental organizations, where
relevant, to ensure that all stakeholders, particularly from developing countries,
have the opportunity to participate in policy decision-making relating to Internet
governance, and to promote and facilitate such participation.
53. We commit to working earnestly towards multilingualization of the Internet, as
part of a multilateral, transparent and democratic process, involving governments
and all stakeholders, in their respective roles. In this context, we also support local
content development, translation and adaptation, digital archives, and diverse
forms of digital and traditional media, and recognize that these activities can also
strengthen local and indigenous communities. We would therefore underline the
need to:
a) advance the process for the introduction of multilingualism in a number of
areas including domain names, e-mail addresses and keyword look-up;
80 World Summit on the Information Society
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b) implement programmes that allow for the presence of multilingual domain
names and content on the Internet and the use of various software models in
order to fi ght against the linguistic digital divide and ensure the participation
of all in the emerging new society;
c) strengthen cooperation between relevant bodies for the further development
of technical standards and to foster their global deployment.
54. We recognize that an enabling environment, at national and international levels,
supportive of foreign direct investment, transfer of technology, and international
cooperation, particularly in the areas of fi nance debt and trade, is essential for the
development of the Information Society, including for the development and diffusion
of the Internet and its optimal use. In particular, the role of the private sector and
civil society as the driver of innovation and private investment in the development of
the Internet is critical. Value is added at the edges of the network in both developed
and developing countries when the international and domestic policy environment
encourages investment and innovation.
55. We recognize that the existing arrangements for Internet governance have
worked effectively to make the Internet the highly robust, dynamic and geographically
diverse medium that it is today, with the private sector taking the lead in day-to-day
operations, and with innovation and value creation at the edges.
56. The Internet remains a highly dynamic medium and therefore any framework
and mechanisms designed to deal with Internet governance should be inclusive
and responsive to the exponential growth and fast evolution of the Internet as a
common platform for the development of multiple applications.
57. The security and stability of the Internet must be maintained.
58. We recognize that Internet governance includes more than Internet naming
and addressing. It also includes other signifi cant public policy issues such as,
inter alia, critical Internet resources, the security and safety of the Internet, and
developmental aspects and issues pertaining to the use of the Internet.
59. We recognize that Internet governance includes social, economic and technical
issues including affordability, reliability and quality of service.
60. We further recognize that there are many cross-cutting international public
policy issues that require attention and are not adequately addressed by the current
mechanisms.
61. We are convinced that there is a need to initiate, and reinforce, as appropriate,
a transparent, democratic, and multilateral process, with the participation of
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governments, private sector, civil society and international organizations, in their
respective roles. This process could envisage creation of a suitable framework or
mechanisms, where justifi ed, thus spurring the ongoing and active evolution of the
current arrangements in order to synergize the efforts in this regard.
62. We emphasize that any Internet governance approach should be inclusive and
responsive and should continue to promote an enabling environment for innovation,
competition and investment.
63. Countries should not be involved in decisions regarding another country’s
country-code Top-Level Domain (ccTLD). Their legitimate interests, as expressed
and defi ned by each country, in diverse ways, regarding decisions affecting their
ccTLDs, need to be respected, upheld and addressed via a fl exible and improved
framework and mechanisms.
64. We recognize the need for further development of, and strengthened
cooperation among, stakeholders for public policies for generic Top-Level Domain
names (gTLDs).
65. We underline the need to maximize the participation of developing countries
in decisions regarding Internet governance, which should refl ect their interests, as
well as in development and capacity building.
66. In view of the continuing internationalization of the Internet and the principle
of universality, we agree to implement the Geneva Principles regarding Internet
governance.
67. We agree, inter alia, to invite the UN Secretary-General to convene a new forum
for multi-stakeholder policy dialogue.
68. We recognize that all governments should have an equal role and responsibility,
for international Internet governance and for ensuring the stability, security and
continuity of the Internet. We also recognize the need for development of public
policy by governments in consultation with all stakeholders.
69. We further recognize the need for enhanced cooperation in the future, to enable
governments, on an equal footing, to carry out their roles and responsibilities, in
international public policy issues pertaining to the Internet, but not in the day-to-day
technical and operational matters, that do not impact on international public policy
issues.
70. Using relevant international organizations, such cooperation should include
the development of globally applicable principles on public policy issues associated
with the coordination and management of critical Internet resources. In this regard,
82 World Summit on the Information Society
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we call upon the organizations responsible for essential tasks associated with the
Internet to contribute to creating an environment that facilitates this development
of public policy principles.
71. The process towards enhanced cooperation, to be started by the UN Secretary-
General, involving all relevant organizations by the end of the fi rst quarter of 2006,
will involve all stakeholders in their respective roles, will proceed as quickly as
possible consistent with legal process, and will be responsive to innovation. Relevant
organizations should commence a process towards enhanced cooperation involving
all stakeholders, proceeding as quickly as possible and responsive to innovation.
The same relevant organizations shall be requested to provide annual performance
reports.
72. We ask the UN Secretary-General, in an open and inclusive process, to convene,
by the second quarter of 2006, a meeting of the new forum for multi-stakeholder
policy dialogue — called the Internet Governance Forum (IGF). The mandate of the
Forum is to:
a) Discuss public policy issues related to key elements of Internet governance
in order to foster the sustainability, robustness, security, stability and
development of the Internet.
b) Facilitate discourse between bodies dealing with different cross-cutting
international public policies regarding the Internet and discuss issues that do
not fall within the scope of any existing body.
c) Interface with appropriate intergovernmental organizations and other
institutions on matters under their purview.
d) Facilitate the exchange of information and best practices, and in this
regard make full use of the expertise of the academic, scientifi c and technical
communities.
e) Advise all stakeholders in proposing ways and means to accelerate the
availability and affordability of the Internet in the developing world.
f) Strengthen and enhance the engagement of stakeholders in existing and/
or future Internet governance mechanisms, particularly those from developing
countries.
g) Identify emerging issues, bring them to the attention of the relevant bodies
and the general public, and, where appropriate, make recommendations.
h) Contribute to capacity building for Internet governance in developing
countries, drawing fully on local sources of knowledge and expertise.
i) Promote and assess, on an ongoing basis, the embodiment of WSIS
principles in Internet governance processes.
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84 World Summit on the Information Society
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j) Discuss, inter alia, issues relating to critical Internet resources.
k) Help to fi nd solutions to the issues arising from the use and misuse of the
Internet, of particular concern to everyday users.
l) Publish its proceedings.
73. The Internet Governance Forum, in its working and function, will be multilateral,
multi-stakeholder, democratic and transparent. To that end, the proposed IGF
could:
a) Build on the existing structures of Internet governance, with special
emphasis on the complementarity between all stakeholders involved in this
process – governments, business entities, civil society and intergovernmental
organizations.
b) Have a lightweight and decentralized structure that would be subject to
periodic review.
c) Meet periodically, as required. IGF meetings, in principle, may be held
in parallel with major relevant UN conferences, inter alia, to use logistical
support.
74. We encourage the UN Secretary-General to examine a range of options for the
convening of the Forum, taking into consideration the proven competencies of all
stakeholders in Internet governance and the need to ensure their full involvement.
75. The UN Secretary-General would report to UN Member States periodically on
the operation of the Forum.
76. We ask the UN Secretary-General to examine the desirability of the continuation
of the Forum, in formal consultation with Forum participants, within fi ve years of its
creation, and to make recommendations to the UN Membership in this regard.
77. The IGF would have no oversight function and would not replace existing
arrangements, mechanisms, institutions or organizations, but would involve them
and take advantage of their expertise. It would be constituted as a neutral, nonduplicative
and non-binding process. It would have no involvement in day-to-day or
technical operations of the Internet.
78. The UN Secretary-General should extend invitations to all stakeholders and
relevant parties to participate at the inaugural meeting of the IGF, taking into
consideration balanced geographical representation. The UN Secretary-General
should also:
World Summit on the Information Society 85
Agenda for the Information Society
a) draw upon any appropriate resources from all interested stakeholders,
including the proven expertise of ITU, as demonstrated during the WSIS
process; and
b) establish an effective and cost-effi cient bureau to support the IGF, ensuring
multi-stakeholder participation.
79. Diverse matters relating to Internet governance would continue to be addressed
in other relevant fora.
80. We encourage the development of multi-stakeholder processes at the national,
regional and international levels to discuss and collaborate on the expansion and
diffusion of the Internet as a means to support development efforts to achieve
internationally agreed development goals and objectives, including the Millennium
Development Goals.
81. We reaffi rm our commitment to the full implementation of the Geneva
Principles.
82. We welcome the generous offer of the Government of Greece to host the fi rst
meeting of the IGF in Athens no later than 2006 and we call upon the UN Secretary-
General to extend invitations to all stakeholders and relevant parties to participate
at the inaugural meeting of the IGF.
86 World Summit on the Information Society
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D. Implementation and Follow-up
83. Building an inclusive development-oriented Information Society will require
unremitting multi-stakeholder effort. We thus commit ourselves to remain fully
engaged — nationally, regionally and internationally — to ensure sustainable
implementation and follow-up of the outcomes and commitments reached during the
WSIS process and its Geneva and Tunis phases of the Summit. Taking into account
the multifaceted nature of building the Information Society, effective cooperation
among governments, private sector, civil society and the United Nations and other
international organizations, according to their different roles and responsibilities
and leveraging on their expertise, is essential.
84. Governments and other stakeholders should identify those areas where further
effort and resources are required, and jointly identify, and where appropriate
develop, implementation strategies, mechanisms and processes for WSIS outcomes
at international, regional, national and local levels, paying particular attention to
people and groups that are still marginalized in their access to and utilization of
ICTs.
85. Taking into consideration the leading role of governments in partnership with
other stakeholders in implementing the WSIS outcomes, including the Geneva
Plan of Action, at the national level, we encourage those governments that have
not yet done so to elaborate, as appropriate, comprehensive, forward-looking and
sustainable national e-strategies, including ICT strategies and sectoral e-strategies
as appropriate*, as an integral part of national development plans and poverty
reduction strategies, as soon as possible and before 2010.
86. We support regional and international integration efforts aimed at building
a people-centred, inclusive and development-oriented Information Society, and
we reiterate that strong cooperation within and among regions is indispensable
to support knowledge-sharing. Regional cooperation should contribute to national
capacity building and to the development of regional implementation strategies.
87. We affi rm that the exchange of views and sharing of effective practices and
resources is essential to implementing the outcomes of WSIS at the regional and
international levels. To this end, efforts should be made to provide and share, among
all stakeholders, knowledge and know-how, related to the design, implementation,
monitoring and evaluation of e-strategies and policies, as appropriate. We recognize
as fundamental elements to bridging the digital divide in developing countries, in
a sustainable way, poverty reduction, enhanced national capacity building and the
promotion of national technological development.
* Throughout this text, further references to “e-strategies” are interpreted as including also ICT strategies and sectoral
e-strategies, as appropriate.
World Summit on the Information Society 87
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88. We reaffi rm that through the international cooperation of governments and
the partnership of all stakeholders, it will be possible to succeed in our challenge
of harnessing the potential of ICTs as a tool, at the service of development, to
promote the use of information and knowledge to achieve the internationally agreed
development goals and objectives, including the Millennium Development Goals,
as well as to address the national and local development priorities, thereby further
improving the socio-economic development of all human beings.
89. We are determined to improve international, regional and national connectivity
and affordable access to ICTs and information through an enhanced international
cooperation of all stakeholders that promotes technology exchange and technology
transfer, human resource development and training, thus increasing the capacity of
developing countries to innovate and to participate fully in, and contribute to, the
Information Society.
90. We reaffi rm our commitment to providing equitable access to information and
knowledge for all, recognizing the role of ICTs for economic growth and development.
We are committed to working towards achieving the indicative targets, set out in
the Geneva Plan of Action, that serve as global references for improving connectivity
and universal, ubiquitous, equitable, non-discriminatory and affordable access to,
and use of ICTs, considering different national circumstances, to be achieved by
2015, and to using ICTs, as a tool to achieve the internationally agreed development
goals and objectives, including the Millennium Development Goals, by:
a) Mainstreaming and aligning national e-strategies, across local, national,
and regional action plans, as appropriate and in accordance with local and
national development priorities, with in-built time-bound measures.
b) Developing and implementing enabling policies that refl ect national
realities and that promote a supportive international environment, foreign
direct investment as well as the mobilization of domestic resources, in order
to promote and foster entrepreneurship, particularly Small, Medium and Micro
Enterprises (SMMEs), taking into account the relevant market and cultural
contexts. These policies should be refl ected in a transparent, equitable
regulatory framework to create a competitive environment to support these
goals and strengthen economic growth.
c) Building ICT capacity for all and confi dence in the use of ICTs by all —including
youth, older persons, women, indigenous peoples, people with disabilities,
and remote and rural communities — through the improvement and delivery
of relevant education and training programmes and systems including lifelong
and distance learning.
d) Implementing effective training and education, particularly in ICT science
and technology, that motivates and promotes participation and active
involvement of girls and women in the decision-making process of building the
Information Society.
88 World Summit on the Information Society
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e) Paying special attention to the formulation of universal design concepts
and the use of assistive technologies that promote access for all persons
including those with disabilities.
f) Promoting public policies aimed at providing affordable access at all levels,
including community-level, to hardware as well as software and connectivity
through an increasingly converging technological environment, capacity
building and local content.
g) Improving access to the world’s health knowledge and telemedicine
services, in particular in areas such as global cooperation in emergency
response, access to and networking among health professionals to help
improve quality of life and environmental conditions.
h) Building ICT capacities to improve access and use of postal networks and
services.
i) Using ICTs to improve access to agricultural knowledge, combat poverty,
and support production of and access to locally relevant agriculture-related
content.
j) Developing and implementing e-government applications based on open
standards in order to enhance the growth and interoperability of e-government
systems, at all levels, thereby furthering access to government information and
services, and contributing to building ICT networks and developing services
that are available anywhere and anytime, to anyone and on any device.
k) Supporting educational, scientifi c, and cultural institutions, including
libraries, archives and museums, in their role of developing, providing
equitable, open and affordable access to, and preserving diverse and varied
content, including in digital form, to support informal and formal education,
research and innovation; and in particular supporting libraries in their publicservice
role of providing free and equitable access to information and of
improving ICT literacy and community connectivity, particularly in underserved
communities.
l) Enhancing the capacity of communities in all regions to develop content in
local and/or indigenous languages.
m) Strengthening the creation of quality e-content, at national, regional and
international levels.
n) Promoting the use of traditional and new media in order to foster universal
access to information, culture and knowledge for all people, especially
vulnerable populations and populations in developing countries and using,
inter alia, radio and television as educational and learning tools.
o) Reaffi rming the independence, pluralism and diversity of media, and
freedom of information including through, as appropriate, the development
World Summit on the Information Society 89
Agenda for the Information Society
of domestic legislation, we reiterate our call for the responsible use and
treatment of information by the media in accordance with the highest
ethical and professional standards. We reaffi rm the necessity of reducing
international imbalances affecting the media, particularly as regards
infrastructure, technical resources and the development of human skills.
These reaffi rmations are made with reference to Geneva Declaration of
Principles paragraphs 55 to 59.
p) Strongly encouraging ICT enterprises and entrepreneurs to develop and
use environment-friendly production processes in order to minimize the
negative impacts of the use and manufacture of ICTs and disposal of ICT
waste on people and the environment. In this context, it is important to give
particular attention to the specifi c needs of the developing countries.
q) Incorporating regulatory, self-regulatory, and other effective policies and
frameworks to protect children and young people from abuse and exploitation
through ICTs into national plans of action and e-strategies.
r) Promoting the development of advanced research networks, at national,
regional and international levels, in order to improve collaboration in science,
technology and higher education.
s) Promoting voluntary service, at the community level, to help maximize the
developmental impact of ICTs.
t) Promoting the use of ICTs to enhance fl exible ways of working, including
teleworking, leading to greater productivity and job creation.
91. We recognize the intrinsic relationship between disaster reduction, sustainable
development and the eradication of poverty and that disasters seriously undermine
investment in a very short time and remain a major impediment to sustainable
development and poverty eradication. We are clear as to the important enabling
role of ICTs at the national, regional and international levels, including:
a) Promoting technical cooperation and enhancing the capacity of countries,
particularly developing countries, in utilizing ICT tools for disaster early-warning,
management and emergency communications, including dissemination of
understandable warnings to those at risk.
b) Promoting regional and international cooperation for easy access to and
sharing of information for disaster management, and exploring modalities for
the easier participation of developing countries.
c) Working expeditiously towards the establishment of standards-based
monitoring and worldwide early-warning systems linked to national and
regional networks and facilitating emergency disaster response all over the
world, particularly in high-risk regions.
90 World Summit on the Information Society
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Agenda for the Information Society
92. We encourage countries, including all other interested parties, to make
available child helplines, taking into account the need for mobilization of
appropriate resources. For this purpose, easy-to-remember numbers, accessible
from all phones and free of charge, should be made available.
93. We seek to digitize our historical data and cultural heritage for the benefi t of
future generations. We encourage effective information management policies in the
public and private sectors, including the use of standards-based digital archiving
and innovative solutions to overcome technological obsolescence, as a means to
ensure long-term preservation of, and continued access to, information.
94. We acknowledge that everyone should benefi t from the potential that the
Information Society offers. Therefore, we invite governments to assist, on a voluntary
basis, those countries affected by any unilateral measure not in accordance with
international law and the Charter of the United Nations that impedes the full
achievement of economic and social development by the population of the affected
countries, and that hinders the well-being of their population.
95. We call upon international and intergovernmental organizations to develop,
within approved resources, their policy analysis and capacity-building programmes,
based on practical and replicable experiences of ICT matters, policies and actions
that have led to economic growth and poverty alleviation, including through the
improved competitiveness of enterprises.
96. We recall the importance of creating a trustworthy, transparent and nondiscriminatory
legal, regulatory and policy environment. To that end, we reiterate
that ITU and other regional organizations should take steps to ensure rational,
effi cient and economic use of, and equitable access to, the radio-frequency
spectrum by all countries, based on relevant international agreements.
97. We acknowledge that multi-stakeholder participation is essential to the
successful building of a people-centred, inclusive and development-oriented
Information Society and that governments could play an important role in this
process. We underline that the participation of all stakeholders in implementing
WSIS outcomes, and following them up on national, regional and international
levels with the overarching goal of helping countries to achieve internationally
agreed development goals and objectives, including the Millennium Development
Goals, is key to that success.
98. We encourage strengthened and continuing cooperation between and among
stakeholders to ensure effective implementation of the Geneva and Tunis outcomes:
for instance, through the promotion of national, regional and international multistakeholder
partnerships including Public Private Partnerships (PPPs), and the
promotion of national and regional multi-stakeholder thematic platforms, in a joint
92 World Summit on the Information Society
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effort and dialogue with developing and less developed countries, development
partners and actors in the ICT sector. In that respect, we welcome partnerships
such as the ITU-led Connect the World initiative.
99. We agree to ensure the sustainability of progress towards the goals of WSIS
after the completion of its Tunis phase and we decide, therefore, to establish a
mechanism for implementation and follow-up at national, regional and international
levels.
100. At the national level, based on the WSIS outcomes, we encourage governments,
with the participation of all stakeholders and bearing in mind the importance of an
enabling environment, to set up a national implementation mechanism, in which:
a) National e-strategies, where appropriate, should be an integral part of
national development plans, including Poverty Reduction Strategies, aiming
to contribute to the achievement of internationally agreed development goals
and objectives, including the Millennium Development Goals.
b) ICTs should be fully mainstreamed into strategies for Offi cial Development
Assistance (ODA) through more effective information-sharing and coordination
among development partners, and through analysis and sharing of best
practices and lessons learned from experience with ICT for development
programmes.
c) Existing bilateral and multilateral technical assistance programmes,
including those under the UN Development Assistance Framework, should
be used whenever appropriate to assist governments in their implementation
efforts at the national level.
d) Common Country Assessment Reports should contain a component on ICT
for development.
101. At the regional level:
a) Upon request from governments, regional intergovernmental organizations
in collaboration with other stakeholders should carry out WSIS implementation
activities, exchanging information and best practices at the regional level, as
well as facilitating policy debate on the use of ICT for development, with a focus
on attaining the internationally agreed development goals and objectives,
including the Millennium Development Goals.
b) UN Regional Commissions, based on request of Member States and within
approved budgetary resources, may organize regional WSIS follow-up activities
in collaboration with regional and sub-regional organizations, with appropriate
frequency, as well as assisting members states with technical and relevant
information for the development of regional strategies and the implementation
of the outcomes of regional conferences.
World Summit on the Information Society 93
Agenda for the Information Society
c) We consider a multi-stakeholder approach and the participation in regional
WSIS implementation activities by the private sector, civil society, and the
United Nations and other international organizations to be essential.
102. At the international level, bearing in mind the importance of the enabling
environment:
a) Implementation and follow-up of the outcomes of the Geneva and Tunis
phases of the Summit should take into account the main themes and action
lines in the Summit documents.
b) Each UN agency should act according to its mandate and competencies,
and pursuant to decisions of their respective governing bodies, and within
existing approved resources.
c) Implementation and follow-up should include intergovernmental and
multi-stakeholder components.
103. We invite UN agencies and other intergovernmental organizations, in line with
UNGA Resolution 57/270 B, to facilitate activities among different stakeholders,
including civil society and the business sector, to help national governments in
their implementation efforts. We request the UN Secretary-General, in consultation
with members of the UN system Chief Executives Board for coordination (CEB),
to establish within the CEB, a UN group on the Information Society consisting
of the relevant UN bodies and organizations with the mandate to facilitate the
implementation of WSIS outcomes and to suggest to CEB that, in considering
lead agency(ies) of this group, it takes into consideration the experience of and
activities in the WSIS process undertaken by ITU, UNESCO and UNDP.
104. We further request the UN Secretary-General to report to the UNGA through
ECOSOC by June 2006, on the modalities of the interagency coordination of the
implementation of WSIS outcomes including recommendations on the follow-up
process.
105. We request that ECOSOC oversees the system-wide follow-up of the
Geneva and Tunis outcomes of WSIS. To this end, we request that ECOSOC, at
its substantive session of 2006, reviews the mandate, agenda and composition
of the Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD), including
considering the strengthening of the Commission, taking into account the multistakeholder
approach.
106. WSIS implementation and follow-up should be an integral part of the UN
integrated follow-up to major UN conferences and should contribute to the
achievement of internationally agreed development goals and objectives, including
the Millennium Development Goals. It should not require the creation of any new
operational bodies.
94 World Summit on the Information Society
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107. International and regional organizations, should assess and report regularly
on universal accessibility of nations to ICTs, with the aim of creating equitable
opportunities for the growth of ICT sectors of developing countries.
108. We attach great importance to multi-stakeholder implementation at the
international level, which should be organized taking into account the themes
and action lines in the Geneva Plan of Action, and moderated or facilitated by UN
agencies when appropriate. An Annex to this document offers an indicative and
non-exhaustive list of facilitators/moderators for the action lines of the Geneva Plan
of Action.
109. The experience of, and the activities undertaken by, UN agencies in the WSIS
process — notably ITU, UNESCO and UNDP — should continue to be used to their
fullest extent. These three agencies should play leading facilitating roles in the
implementation of the Geneva Plan of Action and organize a meeting of moderators/
facilitators of action lines, as mentioned in the Annex.
110. The coordination of multi-stakeholder implementation activities would help to
avoid duplication of activities. This should include, inter alia, information exchange,
creation of knowledge, sharing of best practices, and assistance in developing
multi-stakeholder and public/private partnerships.
111. We request the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) to make an overall
review of the implementation of WSIS outcomes in 2015.
112. We call for periodic evaluation, using an agreed methodology, such as
described in paragraphs 113-120.
113. Appropriate indicators and benchmarking, including community connectivity
indicators, should clarify the magnitude of the digital divide, in both its domestic
and international dimensions, and keep it under regular assessment, and track
global progress in the use of ICTs to achieve internationally agreed development
goals and objectives, including the Millennium Development Goals.
114. The development of ICT indicators is important for measuring the digital
divide. We note the launch, in June 2004, of the Partnership on Measuring ICT for
Development, and its efforts:
a) to develop a common set of core ICT indicators; to increase the availability
of internationally comparable ICT statistics as well as to establish a mutually
agreed framework for their elaboration, for further consideration and decision
by the UN Statistical Commission;
b) to promote capacity building in developing countries for monitoring the
Information Society;
c) to assess the current and potential impact of ICTs on development, poverty
reduction;
d) to develop specifi c gender-disaggregated indicators to measure the digital
World Summit on the Information Society 95
Agenda for the Information Society
divide in its various dimensions.
115. We also note the launch of the ICT Opportunity Index and the Digital
Opportunity Index, which will build upon the common set of core ICT indicators as
they were defi ned within the Partnership on Measuring the ICT for Development.
116. We stress that all indices and indicators must take into account different
levels of development and national circumstances.
117. The further development of these indicators should be undertaken in a
collaborative, cost-effective and non-duplicative fashion.
118. We invite the international community to strengthen the statistical capacity of
developing countries by giving appropriate support at national and regional levels.
119. We commit ourselves to review and follow up progress in bridging the digital
divide, taking into account the different levels of development among nations, so as
to achieve the internationally agreed development goals and objectives, including
the Millennium Development Goals, assessing the effectiveness of investment and
international cooperation efforts in building the Information Society, identifying
gaps as well as defi cits in investment and devising strategies to address them.
120. The sharing of information related to the implementation of WSIS outcomes
is an important element of evaluation. We note with appreciation the Report on
the Stocktaking of WSIS-related activities, which will serve as one of the valuable
tools for assisting with the follow-up, beyond the conclusion of the Tunis phase of
the Summit, as well as the Golden Book of initiatives launched during the Tunis
phase. We encourage all WSIS stakeholders to continue to contribute information
on their activities to the public WSIS stocktaking database, maintained by ITU. In
this regard, we invite all countries to gather information at the national level with
the involvement of all stakeholders, to contribute to the stocktaking.
121. There is a need to build more awareness of the Internet in order to make
it a global facility which is truly available to the public. We call upon the UNGA to
declare 17 May as World Information Society Day to help to raise awareness, on an
annual basis, of the importance of this global facility, on the issues dealt with in the
Summit, especially the possibilities that the use of ICTs can bring for societies and
economies, as well as of ways to bridge the digital divide.
122. We request the Secretary-General of the Summit to report to the
General Assembly of the United Nations on its outcome, as requested in UNGA
Resolution 59/220.
96 World Summit on the Information Society
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– Annex –
Action Line Possible moderators/ facilitators
C1. The role of public
governance authorities and all
stakeholders in the promotion of
ICTs for development
ECOSOC / UN Regional Commissions /
ITU
C2. Information and
communication infrastructure
ITU
C3. Access to information and
knowledge
ITU / UNESCO
C4. Capacity building UNDP / UNESCO / ITU /
UNCTAD
C5. Building confi dence and
security in the use of ICTs
ITU
C6. Enabling environment ITU / UNDP / UN Regional
Commissions / UNCTAD
C7. ICT Applications
• E-government
• E-business
• E-learning
• E-health
• E-employment
• E-environment
• E-agriculture
• E-science
UNDP / ITU
WTO / UNCTAD / ITU / UPU
UNESCO / ITU / UNIDO
WHO / ITU
ILO / ITU
WHO / WMO / UNEP /
UN-Habitat / ITU / ICAO
FAO / ITU
UNESCO / ITU / UNCTAD
C8. Cultural diversity and
identity, linguistic diversity and
local content
UNESCO
C9. Media UNESCO
C10. Ethical dimensions of the
Information Society
UNESCO / ECOSOC
C11. International and regional
cooperation
UN Regional Commissions / UNDP /
ITU / UNESCO / ECOSOC
World Summit on the Information Society 97
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98 World Summit on the Information Society
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© Photo Credits:
p.13 UNESCO/ Sergio Santimano/ 10035303
p.29 UN Photo/ L. Gubb/ 152408
p.35 UN Photo/ F. Charton/ 187129
p.42 UN Photo/ Eskinder Debebe/ 31572
p.45 UN Photo/ John Isaac/ 61006
p.60 UNESCO/ Cart/ 30032748
p.64 UN Photo/ Jean Pierre Laffont/ 64722
p.72 UNESCO/ Sergio Santimano/ 10035323
p.83 UN Photo/ Eskinder Debebe/ 76190
p.90 ILO/ M. Crozet/cn1399
p.97 UNESCO/ Jasmina Sopova/ 10035134
www.itu.int/wsis/
02/2006

02/2006
For further information, please contact the
INTERNATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATION UNION
Place des Nations
CH-1211 Geneva 20
Tel: +41 22 730 5111
Fax: +41 22 733 7256
E-mail: itumail@itu.int
www.itu.int/wsis
OUTCOME DOCUMENTS
This publication contains the outcomes from the two
phases of the World Summit on the Information Society
(WSIS). The fi rst phase, held in Geneva 10-12 December,
resulted in the Geneva Declaration of Principles and
Geneva Plan of Action. The Tunis phase, held 16-18
November 2005, produced the Tunis Commitment and
Tunis Agenda for the Information Society.
Printed in Switzerland
Geneva, 2006
World Summit on the Information Society

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About Raymond Morel (2571 Articles)
Raymond Morel is a member of the Board of Directors at SI and is President of Social-IN3, a cooperative of a researchers’ convinced of the need to address new challenges of today's Information Age, which is slowly and surely modify the entire society.

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