January 2004

10 – 12 December, 2003, Geneva

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A complete transformation is sweeping the modern industrial society of the 20th century, paving the way for the information society of the 21st century. With this premise, the first phase of the World Summit on the Information Society, hosted by the government of Switzerland, was held in Geneva during 10-12 December 2003.

The summit provided a unique opportunity to all those who, whether directly or otherwise, hold stakes in the burgeoning information society. The idea was to develop a better understanding at the highest level about the information revolution and its possible impact on the global community. It brought together Heads of State, Executive Heads of United Nations agencies, industry leaders, non-governmental organizations, media representatives and civil society in a single high-level event.

A broad range of issues concerning the information society was discussed. At the end of the summit a Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action was issued. The next phase will take place in Tunis hosted by the Government of Tunisia, in November 2005.

“Telephones will not feed the poor, and computers will not replace textbooks. But ICTs can be used effectively as part of the toolbox for addressing global problems. The Summit's successes now give us the necessary momentum to achieve this,” said Yoshio Utsumi, Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union. He was speaking at the closing of the first phase of the World Summit on the Information Society. The government of Switzerland hosted the event.

He further added, “Building the inclusive information society requires a multi-stakeholder approach. The challenges raised

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