Recognizing WSIS Impacts

Unless it acknowledges key characteristics of the Internet, the World Summit on the Information Society will easily undermine it

PP Resolution 129

RESOLUTION 129 (Marrakesh, 2002)

Bridging the digital divide

The Plenipotentiary Conference of the International Telecommunication Union (Marrakesh, 2002),

  • recognizing
    • a) that the telecommunication environment has undergone drastic changes;
    • b) that there is a need to show clearly what the digital divide is, where it occurs, and who suffers from it;
    • c) that development in technology has brought about a reduction in the cost of telecommunication equipment;
    • d) that in many ITU Member States, independent regulatory bodies have been established to deal with regulatory issues like interconnection, determination of tariffs, interconnection rules, etc.;
    • e) that the introduction of competition in the provision of telecommunication services has also reduced telecommunication costs to users;
    • f) that the introduction of new applications and services has further contributed to bringing down telecommunication costs;
    • g) that there is a need to create opportunities for digital services in developing countries, including the least developed countries, landlocked and island developing countries, and economies in transition, taking advantage of the revolution in information and communication technologies (ICT);
    • h) that various activities are being executed towards bridging the digital divide by many organizations, such as the United Nations ICT Task Force, the DOT Force, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the United Nations Economic Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), the World Bank, the Asia-Pacific Telecommunity (APT), the Asian Development Bank and many others,
  • endorsing
    • the fact that the World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC-02) has already adopted Resolution 37 (Istanbul, 2002) on this issue,
  • considering
    • a) that, even with all the developments mentioned above, in many developing countries, telecommunications are still not affordable to the majority of people;
    • b) that each region, country and area must tackle its own specific issues regarding the digital divide;
    • c) that many countries do not have the necessary basic infrastructure, long-term plans, laws, regulations and such like in place for ICT development;
    • d) that small island nations and communities face particular problems in bridging the digital divide,
  • resolves
    • that WTDC-02 Resolution 37 (Istanbul, 2002) should be implemented without delay,
  • instructs the Council
    • to allocate adequate funds for implementation of that resolution,
  • instructs the Director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau
    • to take appropriate measures to implement the resolution and the following items:
    • i) to replicate the pilot model for bridging the digital divide by taking into consideration the deployment of cost-efficient, IP-based network technology and client terminals applicable to rural and remote communities;
    • ii) to conduct the pilot projects in conjunction with planned telecentre or community centre projects for evaluation of various new technologies available from the market, and also evaluate their sustainability, affordability, and applicability to tele-education, telemedecine, small business development and gender issues in rural areas;
    • iii) to evaluate models for affordable and sustainable systems for rural access to information and communications on the global network,
  • invites Member States
    • to undertake concerted action to pursue the matter with a view to achieving the objectives of WTDC-02 Resolution 37 (Istanbul, 2002).

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