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Towards Knowledge Societies

The UN General Assembly, on 21 December 2001, adopted a Resolution (A/RES/56/183) endorsing the organization of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), to be convened under the patronage of the United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, with the International Telecommunication Union taking the lead role in its preparation along with interested UN organizations and the host countries.
The origin of the Summit is ITU Plenipotentiary Conference Resolution 73, which led to consultations among the UN agencies and agreement on the need to hold a World Summit on the Information Society. The governing body of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the Council, at its 2001 session, endorsed the holding of the World Summit on the Information Society, to be held in two phases: in Geneva from 10-12 December 2003 and in Tunis in 2005.

The Summit addressed the broad range of questions concerning the Information Society and move towards a common vision and understanding of this societal transformation. The Summit adopted a Declaration of Principles and an Action Plan to facilitate the effective growth of the Information Society and to help bridge the Digital Divide. It brought together representatives from the highest levels of government, the private sector, civil society and NGOs. It offered a unique opportunity for the world community to discuss and give shape to the Information Society.