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Home >> World
UPDATED: 09:57, November 19, 2005
UN information summit closes in Tunis
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The second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) ended here on Friday with the adoption of two outcome documents - "Tunis Commitment" and "Tunis Agenda for the Information Society".

The three-day summit, which brought some 18,000 participants from 173 countries including 50 heads of state and government leaders, provided a chance to discuss ways of bridging digital gaps between rich and poor nations and reaffirmed commitment to extending benefits of information and communication technologies ( ICTs) to all.

An agreement was reached on Internet governance as well as financing mechanisms and implementation mechanisms for the Action Plan developed by the first phase of WSIS in 2003 in Geneva.

A row over US control of the Internet was resolved in a last- minute deal ahead of the summit which left the United States in overall technical control, with an international forum being set up to discuss internet issues.

Greece is expected to host the first meeting of the UN- sponsored Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in 2006 to discuss all internet related public policy issues.

The IGF will have no oversight function, no binding authority and no involvement in day-to-day or technical operations of the Internet.

The summit also called on the UN General Assembly to declare May 17 as the World Information Society Day to help raise awareness, on an annual basis, of the importance of the globalized Internet as a tool for development as well as of ways to bridge the digital divide.

Though the summit was hailed as successful, developing countries especially those in Africa expressed their concern about being disconnected with the information society.

"Let's remember the road does not end in Tunis. We face critical challenges to continue actions to achieve the goals and objectives we committed in Geneva and Tunis to make an inclusive information society into reality," Yoshio Utsumi, Secretary General of the International Telecommunication Union and Secretary General of the summit, told the closing ceremony.

Source: Xinhua

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