UN Technology Summit

Trade and Industry written question – answered on 4th February 2004.

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Photo of Mr Tam Dalyell Mr Tam Dalyell Labour, Linlithgow

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to the oral answer of 6 January to the hon. Member for Inverness, East, Nairn and Lochaber (Mr. Stewart), Official Report, column 156, what action she has taken to ensure that, as a result of the UN Technology Summit in Geneva, the benefits of information and communication flow to all in society.

Photo of Gerry Sutcliffe Gerry Sutcliffe Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Trade and Industry) (Employment Relations and Consumer Affairs)

holding answer 3 February 2004

The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) was held in Geneva on 10–12 December 2003. It focused on increasing the opportunities and allow the benefits of information and communication technologies (ICT) to flow to all.

The WSIS Action Plan formally asked that the Secretary General of the United Nations set up a task force to review the adequacy of all existing financial mechanisms to meet the challenges of ICT for development, by 2005. The Secretary General was also mandated to set up a working group on internet governance to investigate and make proposals for action on the governance of the internet, also by 2005, to coincide with the second phase of the Summit.

Preparations for the second phase will start officially with a meeting in the Autumn of 2004, but there will be a series of related workshops and meetings held from this Spring.

From the beginning , the UK encouraged the Summit to create a framework for initiatives to meet local peoples' needs, particularly "enabling partnerships" supported by governments, private sector partners, civil society and local "champions". The UK is already engaged in this partnership approach to reduce poverty and meet our Millennium Development Goals. We will continue to promote this up to the second phase of the Summit in Tunis in November 2005.

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