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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

UNESCO opens consultation on WSIS 2011

A forum has been opened in preparation for the 2011 consultation on the World Summit of the Information Society (WSIS), by the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

The next edition of the WSIS Forum has been scheduled to take place in Geneva, Switzerland, between May 16 and 20 2011.

Mr. Mika Yamanaka of UNESCO’s Information Society Division, informed that the preparatory process has just started with the launching of an open consultation to elaborate the agenda and to shape the format of the WSIS Forum 2011.

According to him, “What are the key issues that need to be addressed at the WSIS Forum? Is there any room for improvement in terms of efficiency and effectiveness of the Forum? The debate is now open on the WSIS Community,” stressing that the UNESCO’s online collaborative tool would tend to address this.

He also said that in line with the participatory and inclusive spirit of the WSIS Forum, the open consultation would discuss the format and thematic focus of the Forum.

The preparation process, he said, would be carried out in three steps, namely online debate, submission of written contribution and examination of all comments during the final review meeting.

On the online debate on the WSIS Community platform, he said, it would last until November 15 this year, and enjoined stakeholders to express and exchange their ideas in order to generate possible themes and identify potential speakers for the 2011 Forum.

Equally on submission of a written contribution, Yamanaka advised participants to use the online form, noting that it would last until December 15, this year.

“The stakeholders are invited to submit their written contributions, based on debates conducted on the WSIS community,” he said.

Further, he said, that all submitted comments would be examined during the Final Review Meeting, which is expected to take place at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) headquarters in Geneva in February 2011.

“The details of the Meeting will be announced shortly,” he promised.

Yamanaka pointed out that the WSIS community is an online collaborative platform, based on open software, and developed by UNESCO with the purpose of facilitating interactions among stakeholders, in addition to physical annual consultation meetings.

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