Divisions persist ahead of Information Society summit

Marked divisions between developed and developing countries characterised the final preparatory conference for the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), to be held in Geneva on 10-12 December.

After two weeks of preparatory talks between 15-26 September, the delegates failed to produce documents ready for signing at the world's first Information Society summit. In an effort to create consensus for the summit to be attended by heads of state from at least 50 developed and developing countries, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is organising two "intersessional" meetings, for 11-14 November and - "pending resources" - for 7-9 December.

The list of contentious issues is topped by:

  • financing the development of the Information Society
  • intellectual property rights
  • Internet governance
  • open-source software
  • freedom of expression.

WSIS is conceived as a two-phase event. The follow-up summit is scheduled for 16-18 November 2005 in Tunis, Tunisia.


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