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Wednesday, September 21, 2005

PrepCom-3 takes off, HANA live in Geneva

LAST Preparatory Committee Meeting (PrepCom-3) for the second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) slated for Tunis in November, opened in Geneva, Switzerland with 1,350 participants.

This is coming as the upcoming news agency, Highway Africa News Agency (HANA) said it is ready to cover the event live from Geneva. Just as the Secretary General of International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Mr. Yoshio Utsumi has urged participants to explore the meeting by creating an Information and Communications Technology ((ICT) based roadmap for Information Society.

Communication Officer, WSIS Executive Secretariat, Mr. Sanjay Acharya, said that there are willingness on the parts of delegates to work together in order to meet up with stipulated programme.

He said in a press statement made available to ITRealms that the two-week meeting, represents the last chance for more than 130 national delegations and over 150 other stakeholders comprising international organizations, non-governmental organization (NGOs) and business entities, that arrived at an accord ahead of the second phase of WSIS, which begins on November 16.

Stressing that the United Nations (UN) specialized agency for telecommunications, ITU is lead-organizing agency for the summit, which is focused on bridging “digital divide” by the use of ICT to achieve social and economic development goals.

He quoted Mr. Utsumi, saying delegates should use the next two weeks to create an ICT-based roadmap for a more equitable and just information society, declaring that “everything is now up to you.”

He cautioned that they should not allow themselves to be trapped by tradition and narrow interests, but be creative enough to deliver a concrete roadmap for the future of the world.

Also speaking, Tunisian Minister of Communications Technology, Dr Montasser Ouaili, said the platform would facilitate building of international solidarity on ICT issues.

“The Tunis summit is conceived as a Summit of Solutions – a summit that will create a solid foundation on which to build the Information Society. And we look forward to active participation in this process by all stakeholders,” he said.

Top on agenda is the Internet Governance (IG) which is seen as the key issue while others include financing mechanisms for ICT development and implementation mechanisms for the WSIS Action Plan, even as the issue of Internet governance is widely expected to dominate discussions.

The opening session of the plenary equally witnessed the election of the chairs of the conference’s two principal Sub-Committees, namely IG and Financial Mechanisms and implementation.

Meanwhile, HANA has assured that it would report the PrepCom-3 live from Geneva, according to the Executive Director, Highway Africa News Agency based in Rhodes University Grahamstown, South Africa, Mr. Chris Kabwato.

He said the news agency is already on ground to give the meeting the international media mileage it deserves, especially for the African continent to keep tab with the summit processes.

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