Thursday, December 09, 2004

Internet Governance Group sets out Agenda for WSIS

In the run-up to the Second Preparatory Conference (PrepCom) in Geneva (February 17-25, 2005) of the second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) the two major issues for discussion are Internet governance and the financing of ICT development in the South.

The Working Group on Internet Governance met for the first time from 23 to 25 November 2004 in Geneva. The tasks of the Working Group include:

· Developing a working definition of Internet governance;

· Identifying the public policy issues that are relevant to Internet governance;

· Developing a common understanding of the respective roles and responsibilities of governments, international organizations and other forums as well as the private sector and civil society from both developing and developed countries

In an open round of consultations on 24 November, stakeholders set out the issues they wished to see on the agenda – the "mobilizing material", in the words of the Chairman. These included a definition of the Internet and Internet governance; the current situation, including the main players and their functions, and current Internet governance mechanisms; the major public policy issues and priorities; future developments and scenarios, both technological and policy/regulatory; and proposals for action. UNESCO raised the questions of cultural diversity and freedom of expression. A number of countries explicitly indicated the concerns of developing countries.

The Working Group agreed on a timeline for meetings, the next one taking place from 14 to 16 February 2005 in Geneva. Source: WGIG Website