Reference: Geneva Plan of Action for a World Information Society (UN/ITU)

United Nations & NGOs
Complete Plan Online
Complete Plan Online

Too long to reproduce here, an original and almost priceless reference.  Click on logo for full text.  This is the original.  Since then Geneva has taken place, and plans are on for the next step.   Click on Frog at thebottom for a paginated easy-print clean document with all of the information.


A.  Introduction

B.  Objectives, goals, and targets

C.  Action Lines

C1. The role of governments and all stakeholders in the promotion of ICTs for development

C2.Information and communication infrastructure: an essential foundation for the Information Society

C3. Access to information and knowledge

C4. Capacity building

C5. Building confidence and security in the use of ICTs

C6. Enabling environment

C7. ICT applications: benefits in all aspects of life

C8. Cultural diversity and identity, linguistic diversity and local content

C9.  Media

C10. Ethical dimensions of the Information Society

C11. International and regional cooperation

D.  Digital Solidarity Agenda

D1. Priorities and strategies

D2. Mobilizing resources

E.   Follow-up and evaluation

F.  Towards WSIS phase 2 (Tunis)

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Printable Document

2002: Visions of the Information Society: A developing world perspective (UN ITU)

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There are two ways of looking at ICTs: as an instrument, and as an industry. As an instrument, affordable and usable ICTs can indeed transform the way societies work, entertain, study, govern and live – at the individual, organizational, sector, vocational and national levels. As an industry, ICTs represent a major growing economic sector covering hardware, software, telecom/datacom and consulting services.

Through both lenses – industry and instrument – the performance of developing nations lags that of developed nations, but interesting patterns of variation and pockets of excellence are emerging. For instance, countries like India and the Philippines have ICT industries that are exporting software and attracting outsourcing contracts – but they also have looming digital divides where ICTs are not accessible or affordable as instruments for a majority of the population.

This paper charts the industry and instrument aspects of ICTs in developing nations, using a comparative framework developed over the years by the author called the “8 Cs” of the digital economy (words beginning with the letter C): connectivity, content, community, commerce, culture, capacity, cooperation and capital (see below).

2002 The Information Society: An industrialized world perspective (UN ITU)

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What does the twenty-first century “information society' mean for all of us? This paper will examine information society developments primarily from an industrialized country perspective. However, it will acknowledge that the spread of networks means that developments in the industrialised countries have major implications for developing countries.

The paper will consider: 1) the key determinants of a ‘knowledge-driven economy' and what this means for the broader concept of an ‘information society' including the structure of information and communication technology investment, the system features of the new networks, the role of learning and new information exchange models and the weak links in the diffusion pathway. 2) the diffusion pathways for information and communication technologies and advanced networks will include an examination of business, government and citizen use of the new networks. 3) policy and regulatory priorities will emphasise the need for learning to acquire new skills and competencies, the need to reduce constraints on e-service delivery markets, and importance of improved monitoring of information society developments. 4) the potential for fostering public/private partnerships for mobilising information society developments for social and economic benefit. This section will give particular attention to the structure of incentives for public and private organisations to engage in such partnerships and the likelihood that such partnerships can substantially stimulate investment in sustainable network applications and services. 5) The paper will conclude with some observations on the dominant trends and the extent to which the twenty-first century ‘information society' is likely to perpetuate existing asymmetries or give rise to a more equitable distribution of resources.

2002 Network security: Protecting our critical infrastructures (UN ITU)

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The following key issues will be explored under this topic:

1. The Nature of the Problem

A) The vulnerabilities of national and international infrastructures B) Infrastructure dependencies C) Infrastructure failures and attacks D) Models for information attacks E) The international dimensions of the problem F. The need for international cooperation

2. Strategic Defence Options

A) Preventing an attack B) Thwarting an attack C) Limiting damage D) Reconstituting after an attack E) Passive and active defences F) Some specifically international problems

3. Forms of International Cooperation

A) Standards B) Information Sharing C) Halting cyber attacks in progress D) Harmonizing legal systems E) Providing assistance to developing nations

4. Finding a Suitable Framework for International Cooperation

A) An ideal model B) Necessary characteristics of an approximate real-world construction C) Some difficult problems to overcome

2002 Information Communication Technologies (ICT) for education and building human capital (UN ITU)

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In the past decade, governments in both rich and middle-income countries have invested enormously in ICT in education, especially in schools. Universities have also invested, sometimes for the benefit of students or administrators on their campuses, and sometimes to facilitate distance learning, which has expanded rapidly, especially for the delivery of MBA programmes in the developed world and for educational expansion in general in the developing world. Finally, many employers in both the public and private sectors have experimented with ICT to deliver job training.

ICT in education holds out much promises – of lower costs, wider access and more precise delivery of the right course at the right level and the right time. But experience so far has been mixed. This paper will review what has been achieved so far and examine the possibilities for the future and the scope of overcoming some of the challenges that have emerged.

Information is uneven, with a large number of studies of distance learning and some of ICT in schools, but less on its use on campus in universities and for job training. Good information is also relatively rare for the two most common uses of ICT in universities, for the purpose of giving students online access to publications (i.e. as an extension of the library) and for streamlining administration.

Under this topic, the following key issues will be explored:

1. What do we mean by education? What kind of human capital are we trying to build?

2. Distance Learning. What do we mean by distance learning?  What are the different forms of distance learning?

3. Technology can be used in different ways. What are the uses of ICTs in building human capital? Where has it been well developed and where is it relatively new? Why use ICTs? To cut costs? To improve quality?

4. Evaluating ICTs. The difficulties involved in evaluation. Compared with what? How well are other educational interventions evaluated?

5. The benefits of ICTs. Are educational outcomes improved? Can courses be launched and updated more readily? How do ICTs enhance access to education?

6. The cost of ICTs.

7. What technological improvements would raise the impact of ICTs on education?

2002 Information wants to be free (UN ITU)

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Communication is fundamental to the valorisation of information, and together information and communication play multiple roles in social development. For example, layers of information have accumulated over generations to provide us with the stock of knowledge we take for granted in science, culture and everyday life. This knowledge is communicated from person to person and from generation to generation, thus becoming the foundation for all new innovation. The system of intellectual property rights has been devised as one way of achieving a balance between rewarding creativity, by granting limited rights to withhold or charge for information, and simultaneously ensuring that there is a viable public domain with information freely available to future generations of creative minds.

Communication is also recognised as a basic requirement for democratic society because it underpins other human rights; ensuring that people can participate in the (re)organisation of their social, cultural and political environments. These rights are embodied in institutions and practices and evoked in international covenants such as Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Together information and communication are the fundamental building blocks of our societies – essential for everything from technological innovation to cultural development.

In the last quarter of the twentieth century, the information domain became ‘turbo-charged', first through mass media and then ICTs. Suddenly, information processing could be ‘industrialized'; copying and dissemination could in principle be virtually instantaneous and infinite; access could be made universal, or universally denied. The stakes were hugely raised in terms of creativity, the balance between ownership and social use of information, and information and communication rights. Today the roles of information and communication are international arenas of contention, with dynamics often pulling against each other.

This research will contribute to defining a vision of an information and communication society by examining a number of aspects of these dynamics and by mapping out a series of alternative scenarios for governance of information and communication. The scenarios will examine implications of the different levels of participation by various actors from multilateral bodies, governments, private sector, and civil society. The paper will conclude with a number of proposals for actions.

2002 Fostering globally accecssible and affordable Information Communication Technologies (ICT)

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The following key issues are explored under this topic:

1. Introduction to the global information society
A) Technology  B) Borderless communication

2. The social infrastructure
A) Network infrastructure B) Platform C) Applications

3. Fostering ICTs: a country-wise approach
A) Economically advanced countries B) Information- advanced countries C) Developing countries D) Asian perspective

4. Increasing accessibility
A) Evolving notion of universal service B) Digital empowerment C) Competition or government monopoly?
D) Sustainable infrastructure

5. Affordability
A) Choice of infrastructure B) Usage optimization C) Pricing strategy for a fast penetration
D) Subsidy and WTO principle E) Affordability for whom?

6. Governance of the Global Information Society
A) International telecommunications union  B) Internet engineering task force  C) Convention on cyberspace
D) Sustainability and diversity