UN establishes working group on Internet governance

The Working Group on Internet Governance announced by Secretary-General Kofi Annan will prepare the ground for action on related matters by the second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) to be held in November 2005 in Tunis. At the WSIS’s first phase held last December in Geneva, countries asked for the establishment of a Working Group to develop a working definition of Internet governance and to identify the relevant public policy issues. The panel is also responsible for fostering a common understanding of the roles and responsibilities of governments, international organizations and other forums, as well as the private sector and civil society from both developing and developed countries. The Working Group will be chaired by Nitin Desai, Mr. Annan’s Special Adviser for the World Summit and includes 40 members from governments, the private sector and civil society representing all regions. “We come into this process as facilitators, and will strive to establish a dialogue of good faith among all participants,” said Mr. Desai. The panel’s first meeting is scheduled from 23 to 25 November in Geneva. Its report is expected to be submitted to the Secretary-General in July 2005 and will be made available to the Tunis phase of the WSIS.

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