23.04.2014 - Communication & Information Sector

WSIS+10 “negotiations”: Where do we stand, what is up next?

Opening ceremony of the 4th meeting preparing the second, ITU-hosted WSIS+10 Review meeting (June 2014). © ITU

The 4th preparatory meeting for the second WSIS+10 Review (hosted by ITU) closed with the ITU announcement that another, fifth preparatory meeting will need to be held from 27 to 31 May. It will again take place in Geneva.

Pending the official UN General Assembly decision on the modalities of the WSIS+10 Review process, now awaited for April 2014, UNESCO hosted the first WSIS+10 Review Event in February 2013, and ITU will have organized five  preparatory meetings leading to the second, ITU hosted WSIS+10 Event in June 2014.

The fourth preparatory meeting took place from 14 to 17 April 2014. Participants nearly finished with the second reading of the two WSIS+10 “chapeau” documents - the implementation statement and vision documents, which are prepared for adoption by acclamation at the 2014 WSIS+10 meeting. The discussion of the important Human Rights and the cybersecurity parts of these documents will be re-opened at the fifth preparatory meeting, as participants did not deem them ready for agreement last week.

The negotiated/agreed text duly mentions the first UNESCO-hosted WSIS+10 Event and its Final Statement that was developed by a multistakeholder group at the 2013 Event and later endorsed by UNESCO’s 37th session of the General Conference by consensus. The participants agreed on the following:

“We note … the event titled “First WSIS+10 Review Event Towards Knowledge Societies, for peace and sustainable development” hosted by UNESCO and co-organized with ITU, UNCTAD and UNDP in February 2013 and its results.”

At last week’s meeting, a considerable number of participants questioned the possibility of finalizing the Human Rights and cybersecurity references, plus 18 Action Line texts at the next four-day preparatory meeting.

UNESCO reiterated its willingness to continue doing everything possible to facilitate a successful second WSIS+10 Event with satisfying outcomes.

UNESCO produced and distributed hardcopies of 10 years WSIS+10 review publication, informing participants about what has been achieved, of remaining gaps and ways forward, particularly for the 6 Action Lines facilitated by UNESCO.




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