WSIS and IGF
The World Summit on Information Society - WSIS
Resolution 73 (Minneapolis, 1998) of the International Telecommunication Union - ITU - an organisation created in 1865, United Nations specialised agency since 1947 - resolved to instruct the ITU Secretary-General to place the question of the holding of a World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS).
In 2001, the ITU Council decided to hold the World Summit on the Information Society in two phases. The first phase took place in Geneva (Switzerland) from 10 to 12 December 2003. The second phase was held in Tunis (Tunisia) from 16 to 18 November 2005.
The UN General Assembly Resolution 56/183 (21 December 2001) endorsed the holding of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in two phases. The Resolution further recommended that preparations for the Summit take place through an open-ended intergovernmental Preparatory Committee that would define the agenda of the Summit, decide on the modalities of the participation of other stakeholders in the Summit, and finalize both the draft Declaration of Principles and the draft Plan of Action. It invited the ITU to assume the leading managerial role in the Executive Secretariat of the Summit and invited Governments to participate actively in the preparatory process of the Summit and to be represented in the Summit at the highest possible level.
The outcome of the second phase of the WSIS together with the Tunis Commitment and the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society are available at: http://www.itu.int/wsis/documents/index2.html.
ICANN and the WSIS
The WSIS Working Group was self-formed in 2004 by individuals involved in a variety of ICANN stakeholder groups to increase awareness and understanding of the United Nation's World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) process and related issues that affect ICANN.
In the ICANN tradition of bottom-up, consensus-based, global participation, the WSIS Working Group has taken the initiative to organize workshops to:
ICANN WSIS workshops:
ICANN - WSIS working group members
The Working Group on Internet Governance - WGIG
On November 11, 2004, the UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, announced the establishment of the Working Group on Internet Governance. The Working Group task was to prepare the ground for a decision on this issue by the second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society, to be held in Tunis in November 2005.
The task of the Working Group was to organize an open dialogue on Internet governance, among all stakeholders, and to bring recommendations on this subject to the second phase of the Summit.
The two documents adopted by the Geneva Summit - the Declaration of Principles and the Plan of Action - asked the Working Group "to investigate and make proposals for action, as appropriate, on the governance of the Internet by 2005". The Group was requested to:
The Working Group on Internet Governance was chaired by Ambassador Nitin Desai, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General for the World Summit. It included 40 members from governments, private sector and civil society, representing all regions.
The final report of the WGIG as well as the background report were released in June 2005 and are available at the WGIG website.
According to the WGIG report: "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."
The Internet Governance Forum
One of the main outcomes of the second phase of the WSIS was the creation of a new forum for multi-stakeholder policy dialogue, the Internet Governance Forum.
The IGF first meeting will be held in Athens from October 30 until November 2, 2006. The overall theme of the meeting will be "Internet Governance for Development". The agenda will be structured along the following broad themes:
Internet Governance Forum related links
ICANN is co-organising an event in Riga, Latvia, on October 4th , 2006.
Chair’s Summary of the Seminar (28K PDF)
ICANN at the Internet Governance Forum, Athens, Greece, 30 October - 2 November 2006 -- Learn more