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Friday, July 3, 2009

The Second Phase of the World Summit on the Information Society Tunis, (2005-10)

Tunisia will host in November 2005, the Second Phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) whose process was launched in Geneva December 2003, under the auspices of the United Nations (UNGA R56/183) thus making a reality of the call for a Summit made by Tunisia at the Plenipotentiary Conference of the International Telecommunication Union in Minneapolis (USA) in 1998.

In 2001, the ITU council decided to organize a summit in two stages: The first would be held from 10 to 12 December 2003 in Geneva, Switzerland, and the second from 16 to 18 November 2005 in Tunis, Tunisia.

The second phase of WSIS will consist of two parts: the official summit, taking place from 16th to 18th November 2005 and parallel events, a series of meetings, discussion, workshops and exhibitions to be held from 14th to 19th November 2005 in Tunis.
Tunisia has had an easy passage into the information society since the second half of the 1990s, and boosted by its successful experience as an emergent country, Tunis 2005 will be a rendez-vous to make an effective contribution for building a united global and inclusive information society.

Pakistan has very good brotherly relations with Tunisia and there is a shared conviction that WSIS will be an instrument, specifically for the Islamic world, to develop a common vision of the information society of tomorrow and to meet the challenges of the digital revolution. At the same time, this event of paramount importance will be an occasion for international community to take commitments in favor of jointly liable partnership aimed, inter alias, at reducing technological development inequalities in the world, promoting free access for all to technologies on the basis of new, more balanced and more supportive relations.

The World Summit on the Information Society will provide a unique opportunity for all key decision makers to have a better understanding of this revolution and its impact on the international community. It aims to bring together:

Governments: All governments have a stake in the Information Society. In their pursuit of public interest, governments can raise awareness, facilitate access to information for the public, and they also can lay the foundations for all citizens to benefit from Information and Communication Technologies.

The Private Sector: Contribution of the private sector is instrumental in creating the material conditions for universal access to value-added ICT services. Its involvement in the summit will promote economic growth, new joint ventures, technology transfer, increase awareness to the new technologies, and motivate the creation of relevant skilled employment opportunities on the local scene.

The Civil Society: Civil society is playing an active role in drawing attention to the current social and cultural trends and the need to justify democratically the strategic options taken at all levels its diversity and, often, hands-on approach to issues, make civil society a key actor in the new international partnership called for by the United Nations Community.
The roles that are assumed by the various partners (Member States, UN specialized agencies, private sector, non-governmental organizations, media representatives and Civil Society representatives,) in smoothly coordinating the setting up the information society around the globe will also be the main concern of the Summit and its preparation.
Land of hospitality and tolerance, Tunisia intends the information society to be an essential tool for rapprochement among peoples and dialogue between cultures and civilizations.
(Contributed by: Embassy of Tunis)

To celebrate The Second Phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS Tunis 2005) a commemorative postage stamp of Rs. 5/- denomination, is being issued by the Pakistan Post Office on 15th July 2005.