" ITREALMS: Utsumi satisfied with Tunisia as WSIS ends

Friday, November 18, 2005

Utsumi satisfied with Tunisia as WSIS ends

As the second phase of first ever UN summit ends in Tunis, Secretary General of ITU felt satisfied, despite non-resolution of many issues.

The second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS-2005) ended Friday with the Secretary General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Mr. Yoshio Utsumi expressing satisfaction over the organization of the phase in Tunisian capital, Friday.

First ever UN in phases
WSIS is the first United Nations summit to be held in two phases. The first was held two years ago in Geneva between December 10 and 12, 2003.
Addressing journalists to announce the end of the three-day second phase at the Kram PalExpo media center, Mr. Utsumi said that the host country made a lot of efforts to ensure that the phase was a success.

Satisfied with Tunisia
“Tunisia made a lot of effort and their work would be commended. I am sure all participants would appreciate their work. So I am very satisfied,” he declared.
Mr. Utsumi also called for more cool meetings devoid of rancour mostly concerning internet governance considering that stakeholders have various agenda as concerns this issue.

Unsolved divide
He accepted that though the summit was not enough to address all the burning issues in bridging the gap between the ‘haves and have nots’, and called for continuous networking among participants and stakeholders.
“This is not enough to improve the situation (digital divide), but a simple declaration on the use of ICT for these objectives, and I believe we would constantly work together to achieve these,” he said.

Affordable education
The scribe stressed that the need to use technologies for a better life is the thing that would make the difference, especially beginning with affordable education.
In terms of the outcome, he said, there are many references to education and it should be a co-operation and the summit alone cannot solve the issue of policy advancement to help government in developing countries in the implementation process.

West widening the gap
He pointed out that many political leaders from the west did not attend the summit, saying, but admitted that the highest political leaders from Western countries were quite limited in presence.
“But at the same time, at the first phase we did not have a lot of CEOs but at this second phase we have a lot of them and they come to this summit mostly at the parallel events. So the understanding by the private sector is increasing,” he said.
Mr. Utsumi noted, for instance, that the western countries consider grants as humanitarian activities maintaining that support for ICT is not the same as humanitarian activities, declaring “it is different.
He emphasised that the summit is a chance for developed and developing countries to have an equal opportunities.
He also said that there is no penalty for those countries that maybe indifferent to the Tunis commitment, but they have to catch up.

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