Preparations towards PrepCom3
  Next round for Civil Society Priorities Document
 
 
  30 August 2003. As the third and decisive WSIS preparation conference draws nearer, the thematic work of international civil society is gaining momentum. The Priorities Document, which summarises civil society concerns on the main WSIS themes, is currrently being re-designed. In addition, a civil society declaration is to be developed as a distinct alternative to the official WSIS declaration.

Since PrepCom2 in February, civil society groups have collated the cornerstones of their thematic positions in common priority documents. Individual sections have been drafted by the various caucuses and thematic working groups and have been compiled into one document by the Content & Themes Drafting Group. The current Civil Society Priorities Document was developed during the Intersessional Meeting in Paris. Until 22 August further comments on the paper were submitted by the civil society working groups. A new version will probably be finalised before the start of PrepCom3 in mid-September.

In addition, the thematic working groups and caucuses are working individually on improvements of those sections of the WSIS documents, which are of particular relevance for them.

While the Priorities Document is oriented very strongly towards the current official WSIS documents, in order to achieve a maximum influence on negotiations, there have increasingly been calls for civil society to develop its own declaration and action plan. Rather than evolving as a reaction to the government papers and focusing on immediate lobbying gains, these new papers should present civil society's distinct alternatives to the themes of the official documents. Equally, they should reflect the deeper discussion processes within the civil society networks, rather than the issue-specific work of individual working groups. Developing such alternative documents is currently being widely discussed for the first time, and possible steps towards drafting them are already being proposed.
 
 
 
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