[WSIS CS-Plenary] Minutes of the WSIS Intergovernmental Bureau meeting, 30 Sept
bendrath at zedat.fu-berlin.de
Tue Oct 5 17:06:21 BST 2004
Interesting news on
- the "Friends of the Chair" group (we're mostly out again)
- the TF for Financial Mechanisms' members (many of them now confirmed,
few of us there)
- the discussion on stocktaking (US wants MDG reference out,...)
- host country matters for WSIS 2005.
I can't write about this at length now, but the multi-stakeholder
approach is clearly failing with regards to the TFFM and the Friends of
the Chair (the latter will draft the WSIS 2005 political document). The
CS bureau should definitely work on this actively.
WSIS Bureau Meeting of Sept 30
1. Agenda/Summaries of Decisions of the last Bureau Meetings - Adopted
as proposed by the Secretariat with minor modifications to improve the
language of the summary.
2. Group of Friends - The Chair outlined his revised proposal noting
that he had modified it to take into account concerns expressed
previously by some regional groups. According to his new proposal, the
Group will be composed of 6 countries per region plus regional
coordinators and the two host countries. Each of those countries can be
represented by two persons. The Secretary General of the ITU or his
representative will also participate. Other States will be admitted at
all meetings as
observers (one person per del). The size of the Group was accepted.
Most of the discussion focussed on modalities for non-state actors. It
was agreed that non-state observers would be allowed to participate in
some of the meetings at the beginning of which they will be given the
floor. They will be allowed to participate to the following meetings:
Oct.22 all day, Nov.15 p.m., and Jan. 10 all day. Non-state observers
will not participate in other meetings or part of meetings on the
schedule of activities which will be dedicated to drafting and
negotiations among governments.
Agreement was also reached to drop the reference to "no
interpretation". The Chair will explore possibilities with UNOG.
Regional groups may also provide an interpreter to facilitate full
participation by their membership. The Chair does not wish to operate
with ad hoc interpretation following interventions as this would slow
down proceedings. With this deletion, the Chair's document was agreed
along with the parallel understanding re observers (governments,
stakeholders) to be reflected in the
minutes of the Bureau meeting. The Chair requested that regional
coordinators provide him with the list of participating countries from
each region as soon as possible.
3. Stocktaking - Tim Kelly presented the new version of the
questionnaire, stressing, among other things, that there would be a
possibility for governments to provide more information through a
separate questionnaire. Canada, further to a suggestion at the WEOG
coordination mtg held prior to the Bureau meeting, suggested instead
that the questionnaire be modified by creating a separate item where
governments could present their policy initiatives (e.g. progress in
mainstreaming ICT's and
Information Society-related initiatives into general government
policies (development, regulatory framework, e-government). The US asked
that references to the MDGs be replaced by "internationally agreed
development goals" in the Millennium Declaration. Responding to a
question by China, SG Utsumi indicated that the stakeholders to which
the questionnaire was addressed were only those accredited to the WSIS
process. Russia expressed ongoing reservations concerning the Annex
which, in their view
does not fully reflect the Geneva documents. France said that the new
version was an improvement but that it was still not adequate to cover
governments' actions. The Secretariat (Mr. Geiger) said that it was not
their intent to change what had been agreed to in Geneva. He noted that
reference to the MDGs were used frequently in the UN system. It was
noted that the questionnaire did not require formal Bureau approval.
4. Task Force on Financial Mechanisms - The Chair informed the meeting
that several members of the Task Force which will be chaired by Mark
Malloch Brown, Administrator of UNDP, had been confirmed. The list
Members follow: Mr. Sérgio Amadeu da Silveira (Director-President, ITI -
Instituto Nacional de Tecnologia da Informação, Brazil), HE Ali Abbasov
(Minister of Communication and Information Technologies, Azerbaijan),
Mr. Owen Barder (representative of the European Union on behalf of the
Netherlands EU-Presidency), Mr.
Jim Crowe (Deputy Director, Foreign Affairs/United Nations and
Commonwealth Division Canada), HE Mamadou Diop Decroix (Minister of
Communications, Senegal), Ms. Anriette
Esterhuysen (Executive Director, Association for Progressive
Communications), Mr. Nissim Ezekiel (Executive Director, Commission on
Private Sector and Development), Mr. Elhar Ehandi (CEO, Look at World
<mailto:Look at World> Foundation, Estonia), Mr. Jonathan Fiske (Senior
Manager, Group Public Policy, Vodafone Group Services Ltd), Ms.Ayesha
Hassan (Senior Policy Manager Electronic Business, Telecommunications
and IT, International Chamber of Commerce), Mr.Mohsen Khalil (Director,
and Communication, Technologies, The World Bank Group), Mr. Sarbuland
Khan (Director, Office of ECOSOC Support and Coordination, Department of
Economic & Social Affairs, United Nations), Mr. Ayisi Makatiani
(Chairman Gallium Venture Capital and CEO and Managing Director, African
Management Services Company), Mr. Zouhair Masmoudi (Director General,
Ministry of Communication Technologies and Transport, Tunisia), Mr.
Rajendra Pawar (CEO, NIIT, India) Ms. Fuatai Purcell (ICT secretary, ICT
commission, Samoa), Mr. Daniel Stauffacher (Ambassador of Switzerland,
Geneva, Swiss Executive Secretariat for WSIS), Mr. Ichiro Tambo (Advisor
on Science & Technology, Development Co-operation Directorate, OECD),
Mr. Hamadoun Toure (Director, Telecommunication Development Bureau,
ITU), Mr. Pedro Urra Gonzàlez (Director, Infomed, Cuba), Mr. George
Vradenburg (President, Vradenburg Foundation, USA), Mr.Yoichiro Yamada
(Director, Specialized Agencies Division, MOFA, Japan), Mr. Mohamed
(Managing Director, Grameen Bank, Bangladesh). Other members have not
yet been confirmed but should be announced in the near future.
5.Criteria for WSIS thematic or regional meetings - It will be
generally left to the Secretariat to decide which meetings may bear the
WSIS logo. Basically, all regional meetings can use the WSIS label if
the agenda is WSIS-related and if they are organized by a Member State
or international organization. Thematic meetings may use the logo if
related to WSIS topics and organized by UN organization or Member State.
It was stressed that there would be no formal link between the outcome
of those meetings and the final product of the WSIS negotiating process.
reiterated that WSIS events should be on multi-stakeholders basis. It
should also be made clear that acceptance of the logo did not imply any
financial implications for the Secretariat. Sec. Gen. Utsumi intervened
to say that guidelines had been issued for regional meetings during
phase one and that he thought they should still be applicable. He
stressed the role of UN Regional Economic Commissions which, as in phase
one, were encouraged to support or co-organize regional meetings. He
mentioned that while the WSIS logo was not owned by the ITU and was in
the public domain, his organization exercised practical control over it
and that use would only be allowed where criteria were met. Pakistan
indicated that there should not be automatic approval of the logo. Spain
requested that sensitive issues be resolved in consultation with those
affected. Egypt asked that a disclaimer be issued in case of abusive use
of the logo.
6. Financial situation of the WSIS - Mr. Chris Clarke presented a paper
providing the detail of contributions received to date (see attachment).
S.G. Utsumi confirmed that, in addition to the contributions already
announced, others were expected in the near future. He assured the
Bureau that enough money was already available for PrepCom 2. S.G.
Utsumi indicated that it was not possible at this stage to issue an
interim report on expenditures. The minutes will record the appreciation
of the Bureau for contributions received.
7. Other business -
* Host Country Arrangements: S.G. Utsumi informed the Group that
he travelled to Tunisia recently to discuss the preparations for the
Summit. An organizing committee has been set-up which is dealing with
logistic issues. It includes volunteer entrepreneurs from the private
sector. The organizers have yet to decide upon facilities to accommodate
the expected great number of side events, and further discussions will
be needed. A framework document with information on how to participate
and an invitation for the exhibition is required from the host country.
framework document will have to be issued as early as possible as well
as a schedule of events, details for VIP procedure etc... Mr. Utsumi
said that he had met with President Ben Ali who assured him of his
personal commitment to the success of the process and said that
preparations were well advanced. Tunisia confirmed the personal
involvement of their president.
* Other Summit Dates: Tunisia said that high level contacts had
been made in New York (with Mexico) and Seoul to try to avoid any
overlap of dates with the APEC meeting.
* TFFM: The Chair informed the Group that he would travel to NY to
participate in the meeting of the Task Force on Financial Mechanisms as
an observer. He would also meet with senior UN officials during his
8 Next meeting - No date was set for the next meeting which should
occur sometime in November.
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