World Summit on the Information Society - 16 to 18 November 2005 - Tunis
Issues in ICT global policies
After the WSIS: The time for balance
The World Summit on the Information Society poses more questions than solid agreements, in spite of the official promise to turn it into a "summit of solutions". The Tunis Summit has not been vanguardist and in many aspects Geneva commitments and declarations were reaffirmed. Being a four-year decision-making process, more results were indeed expected, although the opening up of spaces for dialogue on fundamental issues, whose results will have to be reviewed later on, should also be highlighted as positive. To be continued... [En español]
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Important policy issues at ICANN's meeting
One of the most hotly contested issues at ICANN's 28th International Public Meeting (26-30 March 2007 in Lisbon, Portugal) is a draft proposal regarding the introduction of new generic top-level domains and its impact on free expression and national sovereignty.
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Global Information Society Watch 2007
The Global Information Society Watch 2007 report looks at state of the field of information and communication technology (ICT) policy at local and global levels and particularly how policy impacts on the lives of people living in developing countries.
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Intellectual property and human rights: Is the distinction clear now?
The WIPO Development Agenda proposal put forward by the “Group of Friends of Development” argued that “under no circumstances can human rights – which are inalienable and universal – be subordinated to intellectual property protection”. Another dimension of this heated debate is whether IP rights are human rights. The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights has tried to clarify this long-standing debate by stating that IP rights are not human rights, but this approach might fall short in taking into account the threats that IP enforcement represent to human rights.
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Internet Governance Forum: Is it more than talk?
The role of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) as a pure discussion forum - “a neutral, non-binding and non-duplicative process” as the EU presidency put it - was intensively discussed during the IGF consultation meetings that were held in February 2007 in Geneva, Switzerland. While hailed as a “liberation” of the bounds of classical diplomacy by some, several governments and NGOs ask for more formalised output.
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UNESCO Convention on Cultural Diversity comes into force
A new international treaty to preserve the rich diversity of the world's means of cultural expression from the dangers of globalization topped the needed total of 30 ratifications and enters into force on 18 March 2007. The new Convention reaffirms the sovereign right of States to elaborate cultural policies with a view "to protect and promote the diversity of cultural expressions and reinforce international cooperation" while respecting human rights and fundamental freedoms.
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Open Access: Lowering the costs of international bandwidth in Africa
Bandwidth is the life blood of the world's knowledge economy, but it is scarcest where it is most needed: in the developing nations of Africa which require low cost communications to accelerate their socioeconomic development. Few educational centres on the continent have any internet access. For those that can afford it, their costs are usually thousands of times higher than for their counterparts in the developed world, and even Africa's most well endowed centres of excellence have less bandwidth than a home broadband user in North America or Europe, and it must be shared amongst hundreds or even thousands of users.
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Download the book Information Society for the South: Vision or Hallucination.
Request a hard copy of the book
If you want to have a hard copy of our book "Information Society for the South: Vision or hallucination?", please send us an email to
Panel and book @ WSIS
At the Tunis World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) ITeM organised an event titled "Framing WSIS in global governance processes: Linkages and follow-up". It was held on November 17th, 2005 from 10:45 to 12:45 at the Room Mehdia (Kram Exhibition Hall). [En español]
Internet governance
The issue of a more democratic and equitable management of global Internet resources was one of the central issues in the UN World Summit on the Information Society.

ICTD within the framework of the MDGs
Would MDGs be better achieved through ICTs? How do they fit into Southern development agendas?

Rural access to ICTs
A rural ICT access model that combines community-owned ICT enterprises with wireless technologies can create more empowering and sustainable initiatives.

"Cybercrime" and human rights
Attempts to adopt an international definition of "cybercrime" have resulted in the introduction of proposals to increase surveillance on global communications.

Access to knowledge
The proposals for a development agenda at WIPO aim to ensure that international IP policy within WIPO takes into account development goals and is coherent with the international obligations of States, including obligations under human rights treaties.

UNESCO Convention on Cultural Diversity
An important tool in the defense and promotion of the world's richness.

The right to communicate
A foundation stone in the construction of the information society.

World Summit on the Information Society - WSIS
An opportunity to build an equitable information society.

This project is possible thanks to the International Development Research Centre (IDRC)
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