" ITREALMS: Utsumi optimistic about outcome of WSIS-05

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Utsumi optimistic about outcome of WSIS-05

Secretary General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Mr. Yoshio Utsumi, has expressed optimism on the outcome of the second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS-05) taking place in Tunis, the Tunisian capital.

Mr. Utsumi at a press conference Tuesday evening at the Kram PalExpo center in Tunis said that 173 countries’ ministers would be at the three-day event which begins Wednesday and last through Friday, November 18.

He said that the level of preparation is satisfactory, even as he expects the Digital Solidarity Fund (DSF) to succeed.

According to him, DSF is focused on supporting local government contributions which he expects to grow from its baby stage.

“We count on local governments to make contributions and its still a baby and must be nurtured to become a big tree,” he said.

Mr. Utsumi also recalls that about 70 per cent of the goals set at the beginning of the first phase have been achieved.

Stressing that when the idea of the summit started, it was hard to convince any of the heads of governments on the goals, saying he was glad that now the aims are being passionately proclaimed by these political leaders and even better than he could do.

“When ITU started this (process), no head of states want to listen, but now they speak about it eloquently more than me, meaning they are committed to this programme,” he explained.
On the raging fate of the Internet Governance, he said, that now IG is transparent because people are interested on how it is managed.

“May be like some opted, every one has to interconnect with each other like in the telecoms network,” he asserted.

Noting that over 8,000 villages are unconnected worldwide with Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and in order to connect them, a budget of about $1 billion is needed annually to support this course.

He also disclosed that about 50 heads of states are expected to grace the occasion, with estimated 30 coming from developing countries.

The scribe additionally said he look forward to a concrete mechanism, although many advanced countries were not keen on concrete implementation mechanism, but the least developing countries were concerned.

“I am expecting however, as much as possible a concrete mechanism,” he told newsmen, emphasizing that mere talking to each other by stakeholders, is very important to ITU.

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