PrepCom3 negotiations enter decisive phase
  Working groups negotiate details of Action Plan
 
 
  September 23, 2003. Governments have moved into a very complicated phase of the negotiations, with parallel ad hoc groups, late night working group meetings, and regional consultations taking place all over the various conference buildings. While a large group in the plenary room discusses the new Declaration, small working groups negotiate the details of the Action Plan.

The usual work schedule for a normal day in this phase of negotiations is something like the following:

8-9am ad hoc groups on Action Plan
9-10am regional consultations
11am-1pm Declaration Working Group
1-2pm ad hoc groups on Action Plan
2-3pm ad hoc groups on Action Plan
3-4pm regional consultations
4-6pm Declaration Working Group
6-8pm ad hoc groups on Action Plan
7-8pm regional consultations
8-10pm Declaration Working Group

A "working group of the whole" chaired by Ms. Lyndall Shope-Mafole that is going through the Draft Declaration on a line-by-line, paragraph-by-paragraph basis. This meeting is open to observers.

Meanwhile, the Finnish chair of the Sub-Committee Two is leading the re-drafting of the Action Plan. Areas needing special attention in the Action Plan are being dealt with by nine ad hoc "small groups" including the following:

- Internet Security - Chaired by Italy (EU)
- Enabling Environment - Chaired by Brazil
- Cultural Identity, Linguistic Diversity, Local content - Chaired by Argentina
- Media, Ethical Dimension- Chaired by Switzerland
- Financing - Chaired by Sweden
- Infrastructure - Chaired by Saudi Arabia
- Access to information - Chaired by Kenya
- Capacity building- Chaired by Costa Rica
- ICT Applications - Chaired by Egypty

These meetings are closed to observers, except for a narrow window for interventions at the beginning of their meetings, and for a report at the end.

Reports from some of these working groups indicate that negotiations are difficult and moving ahead slowly, with fundamentally different positions on some issues blocking each other.

Based on a report by Rik Panganiban
Reports Coordinator, Prepcom.net
 
 
 
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