Following on the first phase of the WSIS Review initiated by UNESCO in February last year, the 2014 Review Event will assess progress made in the implementation of the WSIS outcomes, including the Action Lines (first expected outcome), with a view to developing proposals on a new vision beyond 2015, potentially exploring new targets (second outcome).
The third preparatory meeting leading to this Event was held on 17-18 Feb., in Geneva, with the following two main takeaway:
- The date of the Review Event was announced: 10-13 June 2014, in Geneva (CICG). It will be an extended version of the WSIS Forum.
- The two days meeting was marked by remaining points of disagreements between participants, whether on issues of process or substance.
Process and substance:
Many participants have raised concerns regarding the ability of the current negotiation process to lead to a successful outcome (ISOC shared similar concerns in a statement). The Chair (Prof. Minkin, Russia) has indicated he will be sharing details of enhanced modalities to support the process (for now it seems ideas on this are invited through a reflector email: email@example.com). There was also an important overarching discussion on the focus of the Review.
Several delegations emphasized that the exercise should focus its efforts on lessons-learned from the past ten years of WSIS before crafting a new “vision” and “targets” for post-2015.
The discussion on the role of governments and other stakeholders revealed there are still disparate views on the degree of recognition of the value of multistakeholder approach in implementing the WSIS outcomes and advancing the various Action Lines. Issues with regards to Security (AL C5), Local Content (C8), Human Rights (C10, C9) and International and regional cooperation (C11) have generated intense discussions, yet to be resolved.
An important element to take into account is that the current process will be significantly informed by the determinations of the UN General Assembly at the end of March on detailed modalities for the WSIS Review. As a reminder, the Internet Society and other technical organisations had submitted a letter to the two appointed co-facilitators, calling for the process to be inclusive of non-governmental stakeholders, in the spirit of the Tunis agenda.
7 March: Updated outcomes documents available for comment
14 March: Deadline for comments
14-18 April, Geneva: Fourth preparatory meeting
28-31 May, Sharm-el-Sheik: Fifth preparatory meeting
10-13 June, Geneva: WSIS+10 High-Level Review
- ISOC’s engagement in WSIS+10 Review: http://www.internetsociety.org/wsis
- Internet governance timeline: http://www.internetsociety.org/internet-governance-timeframe-2002-2016-0
- 2014 ITU WSIS+10 Review: http://www.itu.int/wsis/review/mpp/
- 2013 UNESCO WSIS+10 Review: www.unesco.org/wsis2013
- 3rd physical MPP meeting: main outcomes by the Chairman (incl. detailed next steps): http://www.itu.int/wsis/review/inc/docs/phase4/WSIS10.hle-ocp_phase4_MainOutcomes.pdf
As the Internet Society further engages throughout the WSIS process, the local expertise of our Members and Chapters will be critical in order to successfully shape the post-2015 WSIS agenda. We will continue engaging with the ISOC community as the preparatory process unfolds.
Thank you and best regards,