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World Summit on the Information Society Statements

Published December 16, 2015

UN General Assembly Resolution 56/183 in December 2001 endorsed the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), which encourages global discussions on how to benefit from the digital revolution while addressing the digital divide. The International Telecommunication Union hosted two phases in Geneva from December 10 to 12, 2003, and in Tunis from November 16 to 18, 2005. From February 25 to 27, 2013, WSIS participants met in Paris to evaluate progress and goals. In December 2015, the UN produced a draft resolution on the outcome of the WSIS from the past ten years and renewed the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) for another ten years.

Excerpt from the draft resolution:

4. Internet Governance

60. We reaffirm paragraph 55 of the Tunis Agenda, and in this regard we recognize that the existing arrangements have worked effectively to make the Internet the highly robust, dynamic and geographically diverse medium that it is today, with the private sector taking the lead in day-to-day operations, and with innovation and value creation at the edges. However, 4 billion representing twothirds of people residing in developing countries remain offline.

61. We further recognize that there are many crosscutting international public policy issues that
require attention and are not adequately addressed.

62. We recognize paragraph 29 of the Tunis Agenda and that the management of the Internet as a global facility includes multilateral, transparent, democratic and multistakeholder processes, with the full involvement of governments, the private sector, civil society, international organizations, technical and academic communities, and all other relevant stakeholders in accordance with their respective roles and responsibilities.

63. We reiterate the working definition of Internet governance set out in paragraph 34 of the Tunis Agenda, as “the development and application by governments, the private sector and civil society, in their respective roles, of shared principles, norms, rules, decision making procedures and programmes that shape the evolution and use of the Internet.”

64. We reaffirm the principles agreed in the Geneva Declaration that the management of the Internet encompasses both technical and public policy issues and should involve all stakeholders and relevant intergovernmental and international organizations, within their respective roles and responsibilities as set out in paragraph 35 of the Tunis Agenda.

65. We take note of the hosting by Brazil of the NETMundial Global Multistakeholder Meeting on
the Future of Internet Governance in Sao Paulo on 23 and 24 April 2014.

66. We recognize that there is a need to promote greater participation and engagement in Internet governance discussions of governments, the private sector, civil society, international organizations, the technical and academic communities, and all other relevant stakeholders from developing countries, particularly African countries, least developed countries, landlocked developing countries, small island developing states, middleincome countries, as well as countries in situations of conflict and postconflict countries and countries affected by natural disasters. We call for strengthened stable, transparent, and voluntary funding mechanisms to this end.

67. We note the important regulatory and legislative processes in some Member States on the
open Internet in the context of the Information Society and the underlying drivers for it, and call for further information sharing at the international level on the opportunities and challenges.

68. We acknowledge the role of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) as a multistakeholder platform for discussion of Internet governance issues. We support the recommendations of the report of the CSTD Working Group on improvements to the IGF, which were taken note of by the General Assembly in its resolution 68/198, and we call for their accelerated implementation. We extend the IGF mandate for another 10 years with its current mandate as set out in paragraph 72 to 78 of the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society. We recognize that during this period, the IGF should continue to show progress on working modalities, and participation of relevant stakeholders from developing countries. We call on the CSTD, within its current reporting, to give due consideration to fulfilment of its Working Group report recommendations.

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