Report: PrepCom II of the World Summit on the Information Society (Phase I)

Volunteer Reporters
28 February 2003

Plenary: Opening Plenary Meeting

Time: 17 February 2003, 10:00-13:00 Location: ICCG Chair: Mr. Adama Samassekou, President of Preparation Committee 2 of the World Summit on the Information Society Presenters/ Participants: Mr. Pierre Gagné, Executive Director of the World Summit on the Information Society Reporter: Mr. Simon Hetherington, ICVolunteers Languages: English/French, interpretation into Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, Russian Key words: PrepCom-2, WSIS, Information Society, telecommunications, declaration.

The objective of the first plenary meeting was to organise and clarify the agenda of the conference.

Item 1 of the agenda: Mr. Adama Samassekou, President of the WSIS PrepCom-2 and Chair of this session, welcomed all the delegates attending the first plenary meeting and said the focus should be on the work of subcommittee 2 and that all stakeholders should have the opportunity to actively contribute to the Summit. He then introduced the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Secretary-General Mr. Yoshio Utsumi. Mr. Samassekou then outlined plans concerning the fine-tuning and final negotiations of all ideas needing to be put into coherent forms and that humanity has a united vision of what needs to be achieved in the next decade in the field of new technologies.

Item 2 of the agenda: The Chair put forward the draft agenda of the first Plenary Meeting for approval. He asked if there were any objections. There were none and the agenda was thus approved.

Item 3 of the agenda: The Chair put forward the draft agenda for PrepCom-2 for approval. He asked if there were any objections, there were none and the agenda was thus approved.

Item 4 of the agenda: The secretary of the conference Mr. Pierre Gagné, Executive Director of the WSIS, outlined the many different documents that delegates may find useful and interesting in order to facilitate better understanding of the conferences past, present and future objectives and strategies. He also outlined the times and places of meetings to be held over the course of the conference.

Item 5 of the agenda: Mr. Samassekou asked for the nomination of a candidate to be put forward by the Asian delegation to be Chairman of the Subcommittee 2. A representative of Brunei announced that at the present time no candidate had been nominated and a meeting would be scheduled for later in the day to nominate one. In addition, it was necessary to put forward a candidate by the Eastern delegation to be Rapporteur for the PreCom-2. The Russian Federation nominated Mr. Andrei Perigov to fill the role.

Item 6 of the agenda: The Secretary of the Conference explained the accreditation procedure for NGOs, Civil Society Members and Business Entities, and pointed out document WSIS/PC-2/9-E that listed all such accreditations. The list was then proposed for adoption and, as there were no objections, this was approved.

Item 7 of the agenda: Mr. Yoshio Utsumi, before giving his report on activities leading up to PrepCom-2, thanked all the organisers of the regional conferences and mentioned the need to promote issues related to new technologies throughout the world. As stipulated in resolution 73 of the Plenipotentiary Conference of the International Telecommunications Union, the Summit would be held in two phases, with the first phase in Geneva in 2003 and the second in Tunis in 2005. He concluded by stating the need to finish the declaration within two weeks of the conference to make it possible to convince and motivate world leaders to assist civil society and reduce the digital divide between those who have access to information and those who do not.

Item 8 of the agenda: The Chair and President stressed that there should be a focus on content. According to him, it is imperative to use documentation and all information to get a draft declaration and plan of action within the next two weeks. Competitive ideology must give way to cooperative ideology in order to make the Summit a success. Mr. Samassekou concluded by thanking the Swiss and Tunisian Governments for holding the Summit.

Item 9 of the agenda: To date, five regional conferences had been held around the world. The reports and declarations of each of these regional events contributed to the overall process:

  • African Regional Conference, Bamako, 28-30 May 2002;
  • Pan-European Regional Conference, Bucharest, 7-9 November 2002;
  • Asia-Pacific Regional Conference, Tokyo, 13-15 January 2003;
  • Latin America & Caribbean Regional Conference, Bavaro, 29-31 January 2003;
  • Western Asia Regional Conference, Beirut, 4-6 February 2003.

Item 10 of the agenda: A short period of time was given to delegates who had any questions or wanted to raise any points.

Conclusions
The President concluded by thanking all for their contributions and pointed out that there is a great deal of enthusiasm linked to the Summit. In order to ensure that the process is as inclusive as possible, it is essential that various interest groups and representatives from different regions work together.

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