The follow-up of the World Summit on the Information Society: action lines for the future

Towards access to information and knowledge
Irene Amodei
07 November 2006

ICVolunteers has been involved in the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) since its early stages. It has been serving as the focal point of the WSIS Volunteer Family during both phase one (Geneva, December 2003) and two (Tunis, November 2005).

Now that limelight is over, ICVolunteers continues to raise public awareness about the goals and objectives of the global Information Society, linking knowledge with specific needs and striving to strengthen the connection between Volunteering and Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).

Following up on the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society, UNESCO, one of the lead agencies for the implementation of the WSIS objectives, is currently organizing a series of consultations on post-WSIS, as foreseen in the Geneva Plan of Action. It is in this context that, on 16 October, at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, ICVolunteers participated in a working meeting related to the action line Access to information and knowledge.

The consultation meeting resulted in the definition of guidelines, working methods, and monitoring and reporting procedures. The design of the tree of responsibilities was also set up.

"After Tunis, the follow-up mechanisms of the WSIS have remained vague. It is encouraging to see that things are now moving into slightly more pragmatic grounds," points out Viola Krebs, ICVolunteers Executive Director who has closely followed the WSIS from its early stages.

The consultation meetings on Ethical dimension of the Information Society, E-learning and Media took place during the same period in Paris, whereas the meeting on E-science was organized at the end of October in Beijing, China, in conjunction with the Annual Conference of the Committee on Data for Science and Technology (CODATA).

As in 2006, a cluster of WSIS-related events will take place in Geneva from 15th to 25th May 2007 and will include celebration of the second World Information Society Day. Several Action Line Facilitation meetings will also take place during this period.

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