Berlin, 11 April 2003. The German Government in an e-mail to the participants of the WSIS round table on 29 April has given some detailed information on the state of the WSIS preparatory process. Of special interest is where the WSIS-related work is done within the EU. Furthermore, the summit secretariat in Geneva is said to be working on new versions of the summit declaration and the plan of action, which eventually might be released before the End of April.
Following, we document the communication with agreement by the author.
Invitation for 29 April (German)
Assessment of PrepCom2 by the German Ministry of Economics and Labour (German) (doc)
Re: "World Summit on the Information Society" (WSIS)
Here: Meeting on 29 April 2003
Reference: Communication, same file no., of 4. April 2003
File No.: 17 10 08/15
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
hereby we inform you on the latest state of the discussion about the two working documents for the political declaration and the plan of action.
There is no final settlement on how the "intersessional" phase between PrepCom2 and 3 will be carried out. The composition and working mandate for the meeting in Paris from 15 to 18 July are being discussed in Geneva at the moment.
For 1st and 2nd of April, the EU presidency had invited to a meeting in Geneva on short notice. There, work on the political declaration was done.
On the 8th of April, on the invitation of the EU Commission, the informal Working Group International Affairs met on the WSIS.
Further EU coordination will be:
Coordination of position towards the political declaration will further on take place in Gevena (work done so far was generally accepted as useful) on the basis of directives or - where required - the participation of experts from the capitals. Substantial questions, if they arise, will be clarified and finalized by the Council in Brussels.
Coordination of the plan of action will further on take place in the informal Working Group. EU commission and presidency will a circulate a first statement on the draft plan of action for comments. The next meeting of the Working Group will probably take place in the second week of May. Some days before this date, comments by member states on the plan of action shall be submitted, in order to achieve the overall goal of submitting comments to WSIS secretariat by the end of May.
Regarding the plan of action, especially financial questions have to be discussed. Because demands will have to be faced, the EU should work on a solid negotiating position. How do we position ourselves towards e.g. private resources, ODA, enabling environment, solidarity fund? Which alternative solutions can we offer? What are our basic positions? Where are we flexible? We should develop a position towards other questions like security and human rights, too.
Regarding the political declaration, some aspects will have to be discussed and clarified further: For example, the depth in which themes like human rights, enabling environment, security, IPR's, global or internet governance, financing (e.g. proposal of a global solidarity fund) should be dealt with in the declaration.
We might have to face new or re-drafted versions of the documents within the next two weeks. For our national preparation on the 29th of April, we will for practical reasons still work with and comment on the documents of 21st March. Our remarks on the political declaration be chanelled into the further EU-internal process in Geneva, the remarks on the plan of action in Brussels.