UN World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS): Implementation and Follow-up

The multi-stakeholder approach, the cooperation between state and non-state players at all levels, is crucial to the success of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) implementation and follow-up activities.OFCOM is coordinating the WSIS implementation and follow-up activities at the national level. The national multi-stakeholder platform for the WSIS ("Plateforme Tripartite") created during the WSIS preparation phase continues to be a national forum for the exchange of information and experience on WSIS implementation and follow-up activities.

At the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) held in two phases (Geneva 2003 and Tunis 2005) the international community agreed on a political declaration on a shared vision of a people-centred, inclusive and development-oriented information society. In addition, a range of goals and measures was identified which should help to make this vision a reality by 2015.

Implementation of WSIS outcome along the action lines of the Geneva Plan of Action

For all 11 main action lines of the Geneva Plan of Action, multistakeholder groups have been created in order to facilitate their implementation. Each of these groups is led and coordinated by one or more international organisation competent for the subject of the action lines. These "main action line facilitators" also coordinate the activites at the level of the overall action plan. Representatives from the administration, the business sector and civil society in Switzerland also take part in these activities, according to their competence and experience. OFCOM, which led and coordinated the Swiss activities during the WSIS preparation phase and summit itself, is also acting as Swiss coordinator for implementing the WSIS results.

UN system-wide follow-up to WSIS outcomes

The UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) has been mandated to oversee and review the UN system-wide follow-up of WSIS outcomes. For this additional task, the CSTD has been strengthened and enlarged by ten members, and institutional arrangements have been adopted to facilitate the participation of the private sector and civil society in its activities. Switzerland has been a member of the CSTD since early 2006, with OFCOM leading the Swiss delegation.

WSIS Geneva 2003 – Switzerland's commitment and evaluation

As the host country, Switzerland played a leading role in the first phase of the WSIS. On the one hand, it bore the responsibility for the logistical and operational preparation of the 2003 WSIS in Geneva and ensured that the first phase passed smoothly and without any problems. On the other hand, Switzerland, as has been acknowledged internationally on all sides, did the lion's share of the diplomatic and negotiating preparatory work for the summit process and its structures.

Presentation of the World Summit on the Information Society

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) held a World Summit on the Information Society from 10 to 12 December 2003. The purpose of this Summit was to develop a vision and an understanding common at all levels of the problematic relating to the evolution of the information society and to adopt a Declaration and an Action Plan with jointly agreed development measures. The second phase of the World Summit was held in November 2005 in Tunis.

WSIS Tunis 2005 – Switzerland's commitment and evaluation

The second phase of the WSIS took place from 16-18 November 2005 in Tunis. Switzerland was committed to ensuring the long-term success and further development of the first phase. The president of the Confederation, Samuel Schmid, took part in the Summit opening ceremony. Federal councillor Moritz Leuenberger represented Switzerland in the substantive section and in the closing ceremony.

Swiss "Plateforme Tripartite" for the WSIS

The Swiss "Plateforme Tripartite", a multistakeholder platform created for the WSIS preparation phase and headed by OFCOM also serves as a national forum for the informal exchange of information and experience on WSIS implementation and follow-up activities. It is open to all interested representatives from the administration, the business sector, civil society and the internet community at the national level and meets on an ad-hoc basis.

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