UN ICT Task Force meeting in Berlin in November
  Global Forum on "Enabling Environment", Civil Society meeting under discussion
  27 July 2004. The UN ICT Task Force will meet in Berlin from November 19-20 for the next time. The meeting will again be preceded by a global forum, this time on "Enabling Environment for Digital Development". Here, the work of the Task Force on financing set up by the WSIS 2003 will also be discussed.

Civil society groups are currently debating a global meeting around this event to prepare a common strategy for the second phase of the WSIS. This is clearly needed, given the different structure of the second phase. It will be much more about implementation and less about influencing and lobbying a political negotiation process as was the case in the first phase. For more on this, see for example the outcomes of the recent "Public Voice" telephone conference.

The Berlin event will be the first time the UN ICT Task Force ever meets outside of a classical UN city like Geneva or New York City. The fact that the meeting is in Berlin this time might be an outcome of the recent flurry of activities that the German government is showing in relation to the summit. It might also be due to the fact that Berlin is becoming more and more attractive as an international conference hub. In any case, the German WSIS civil society coordination group is looking forward to host the related civil society events and to welcome a number of activists from all over the world.

Another global civil society meeting in Geneva in September?
Civil society is also working on its internal coordination structures for the WSIS, like the civil society bureau or the "content & themes" group, to make sure they fit well into the larger structure of the second WSIS phase while retaining their legitimacy. The respective draft suggestions of the working groups set up during PrepCom1 in June will be released for discussion in September. Therefore, some groups and activists are currently discussing to have another real-life civil society meeting in Geneva in autumn. It would probably be around the next meeting of the WSIS working group on Internet Governance in Geneva on September 20-21.



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