9 November 2015
What has been going on at the World Summit for the Information Society (WSIS)?
IFLA has been involved in the World Summit of the Information Society (WSIS) since its foundation at the 2003 Geneva Summit which defined the 11 Action Lines. This year we have continued our active engagement and so far it has been a busy year as 2015 also marks the 10 year WSIS Review.
The WSIS 10 year Review will assess the aims and goals set out during the 2005 Tunis Summit which further strengthened the Action Lines defined during the earlier Geneva phase. For this, the United Nations (UN) and WSIS have reached out to all stakeholders to contribute to the Review. IFLA responded to the invitation and used this opportunity to underline the importance of public access to information, public access to Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and culture as drivers to realise the overall aims of WSIS as well as the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by enabling full citizen participation in a modern information society. This was already presented by us in our statement at the annual WSIS Forum earlier this year.
During the 2015 consultation process, IFLA has submitted:
- A contribution to the non-paper
- Commented on the first draft of the non-paper
- Commented on the Zero draft resulting from the two non-paper versions
- A response to the WSIS Action Lines mapped against the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
The Zero draft was discussed in October during the Second Informal Interactive Stakeholder Consultation the last preparatory meeting for WSIS before the discussion during the High-Level meeting of the UN General Assembly in December 2015.
IFLA continues to stress the importance of WSIS and the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) as venues to advocate and promote the importance of public access to information, public access to Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), and culture in the digital environment, to help people reach their highest potential as well as to realise the successful implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) process and its outcome documents are considered cornerstones of international norms and discourse on internet policy and governance. This year, as WSIS marks its 10th anniversary, the UN General Assembly is set to evaluate its progress and decide its future. You can find a detailed explanation on WSIS and the process surrounding it on the Association for Progressive Communication (APC) website