The World Summit on the Information Society is a multi-stakeholder process representing governments, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, the private sector and civil society.
It aims at building a collective information society where individuals and societies are empowered to use all their potential to achieve sustainable development and improve their quality of life.
ITU made the required measures to organize the WSIS which took place on two phases, first in Geneva from 10 to 12 December 2003, and second in Tunis from 16 to 18 November 2005.
The objective of the first phase was to develop and foster a clear statement of political will and take concrete steps to establish the foundations for an information society for all, reflecting all the different interests at stake. More than 11,000 participants from 175 countries attended the summit and related events, which culminated with the adoption of the Geneva Declaration of Principles and the Geneva Plan of Action.
Egypt’s contribution to the first phase began with a number of pre-summit meetings, including the Pan-Arab Regional WSIS Preparatory Conference hosted by Egypt in cooperation with the Arab League. Egypt also contributed to setting the working plan and defining the priorities and mission of the summit.
The objective of the second phase was to put the Geneva Plan of Action into motion as well as to find solutions and reach agreements in the fields of internet governance, financing mechanisms, and follow-up and implementation of the Geneva and Tunis documents. More than 19,000 participants from 174 countries attended the summit and related events, which concluded with the adoption of the Tunis Commitment and the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society.
Prior to the second summit, MCIT organized the Pan-Arab Conference on WSIS – Phase II: An Arab Regional Dialogue, held in Cairo in collaboration with the Arab League. The meeting resulted in the issuance of the Cairo Declaration 2005 on Arab recommendations and a joint Arab-African statement.
Egypt actively participated in WSIS 2005, running three workshops and holding the ICT4ALL exhibition, showcasing the Egyptian experience in building the information society with an emphasis on partnerships between the public and private sectors and civil society.
The WSIS Stocktaking Process was launched in October 2004 to provide a register of activities carried out by governments, international organizations, the business sector, civil society and other entities. The goals of the platform are to provide opportunities for stakeholders to extend networks, create partnerships and provide more visibility, thereby adding value to WSIS projects at the global level.
Egypt, represented by MCIT, formed a national working group representing governmental authorities, international organizations, the private sector and civil society to follow up locally on the implementation of WSIS commitments.
WSIS+10 High-Level Event
The WSIS+10 High-Level Event was an extended version of the WSIS Forum to address the progress made in the implementation of the WSIS outcomes (2003 and 2005) and evaluate achievements made in the past ten years.
It was held in the ITU Headquarters, Geneva in June 2014. The event crowned stakeholders’ endeavors during the last ten years in order to implement the WSIS outcomes, thus promoting the information society that answers the needs of ambitious populations.
Egypt was the chairmanship of the WSIS+10 High-Level event in recognition of its efforts along the WSIS phases in 2003 and 2005 where it hosted the African and Arab regional preparatory meetings, and backed the stances of developing and less developed countries. This is in addition to its contribution in the preparatory meetings for the event to reach common proposals, and its success throughout the past ten years.