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21.07.2003 – 17:22

Bundesamt für Kommunikation (BAKOM)

BAKOM: No Human Being Should Be Left Behind World Summit on the Information Society Draft Declaration of Principles and Action Plan Refined

      Biel (ots)

Geneva, 21 July 2003- More than 700 participants from
governments, the private sector, intergovernmental agencies, civil
society and the media attended the Intersessional Meeting of the
World Summit on the Information Society hosted by UNESCO 15-18 July
in Paris. The objective of the meeting was to refine the draft
Declaration of Principles and the Draft Plan of Action that are to
be adopted at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS),
which is being held under the patronage of the Secretary-General of
the United Nations and hosted by the Governments of Switzerland
(Geneva, December 10-12, 2003) and Tunisia (Tunis, November 16-18,
2005). The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is the lead
organizer of WSIS with full support from the United Nations family.

    The President of the Preparatory Committee of the Summit, Adama Samassékou of Mali, reminded delegates of the importance of their mission to ensure that information and communication technologies "be put into the service of all people, regardless of language, culture, gender or geographic location. He stressed "we are creating a path from the information society to a society of shared knowledge that will lead to greater solidarity among peoples and nations."

    ITU, the United Nations specialized agency for telecommunications, called for a consensus to shape the international community's response to the tremendous expectations raised by the emergence of Information and Communication technologies (ICTs) as essential components for social and economic development. "In the information society, no human being should be left behind," said Mr Yoshio Utsumi, Secretary-General of ITU, who noted that, "bold decisions and bold actions are required, as the success of the Summit will be judged by measurable progress toward implementing the plan of action to be adopted in Geneva in December."

    "It is important to highlight that this Summit is not about technology, it is about using the new tools of ICTs for development and to reach the Millennium Development Goals," stated Mark Furrer, Director-General of OFCOM and Head of the Swiss Delegation at the intersessional meeting in Paris. "We have had a very positive meeting here," he added, "with constructive discussions. We are harvesting the fruit of hard work that has gone into the preparatory process so far. We look forward to the meeting of the third PrepCom in Geneva in September 2003."

    The Summit will address a broad range of issues including cyberspace policy concerns such as security and 'Spam', infrastructure development, the financing of universal access and how best to use ICT services and applications to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

    For more information contact:

Barbara Erskine - Swiss Executive Secretariat for WSIS E-mail: Phone : +41 22 748 27 70

Gary Fowlie - International Telecommunication Union E-mail : Phone : +41 22 730 63 73

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