was held in Tunis on 16 -18 November 2005.
Observations from Worldsummit2005.org:
Heads of state and government from all over the world have adopted a Tunis Commitment and a Tunis Agenda. The most contested issue in the final negotiations was Internet governance, but the summit itself put financing ICT for Development and related questions back on the table.
Independent news coverage We were in Tunis with a couple of reporters and have brought you daily news, analyses and documents from a civil society perspective, from 13 to 18 November 2005. A complete listing is at the end of this page. Other news sources:
APC | Terraviva | WSIS blog aggregator | Inter Press Service | WSIS Wire news aggregator |British Council news aggregator
Venue / Webcast
The summit, the accompanying ICT4ALL exhibiton, and most parallel events took place at the Kram Exhibition Park in Tunis. For those not able to participate - or who could not get into the rooms because of the mass of particpants - there is an archive of the webcast audio/video stream.
Parallel Events The ICT4ALL exhibition and the parallel events took place from 15 to 19 November. There were also high-level round tables, a high level panel on ICT for Development and "side events" that are related to WSIS but take place somewhere else - sometimes not in Tunisia.
Civil Society Concerns around the Summit / Citizens' Summit on the Information Society
Civil society groups have a number of concerns around the summit. Therefore, a number of them have tried to hold a Citizens' Summit on the Information Society (CSIS) parallel to the summit, together with independent Tunisian NGOs. Detailed information is available at the CSIS website. The announcement is here: (rtf): English | French | Spanish | Arabic The CSIS was prevented from happening by Tunisian authorities, without any written documentation and reference to legal reasons.
The preparatory process was mostly occupied with Internet Governance debates, which implies that there was no time for a real discussion about how to move from decisions and declarations (the Geneva phase) to implementation (the Tunis phase and beyond). So there still is a real danger that the summit in the end has produced tons of paper and documents, but has had no impact on the real world and on the conditions of living for a great number of people.
Where there was discussion around implementation and follow-up, the organizers have planned the summit in the style of a trade fair or a showcase for "best practices" and were determined to sell the the event as "the summit of solutions". This approach avoided speaking about the tougher questions that come up when assessing the summit from a human rights and global justice perspective. WSIS civil society had to decide if it again distances itself from the official outcomes and the techno-liberal attitude of the official summit process and develops an independent summit document. It did not draft another declaration, but a month after the summit issued a joint assessment of the WSIS outcomes and process: