Prepcom I concludes meeting
  Agreement on Process of Tunis Phase

27 June 2004. The WSIS Phase II Prepcom I finished very late last night around 11:30pm. Governments agreed to accept the President's draft decision, which outlines the structure of the Tunis Phase, including its relationship with the Working Group on Internet Governance and the Task Force on Financial Mechanisms. The next prepcom meeting will take place for 7 working days, that is one and a half weeks, on 17-25 February 2005.

The government drafting group working on the President's text took a very long time to complete its work, beginning around 4pm and going until late into the evening.  By some reports, this was a signal of some governments discontent with how the President was conducting the process. It was the Asia Group that had initially expressed reservations about accepting the text as is without amendment or discussion, but other African states expressed the desire to go through the text line-by-line as well.

Reportedly, civil society and other observers were ejected from the drafting meeting after a request by the Chinese delegation, which was supported by the Brazilian delegation.

Meanwhile, the final plenary session of civil society on the evening of 26 June witnessed no major disagreements or discord. Whether this was due to general fatigue, the near completion of the prepcom, or no controversial issues on the table is unknown. The number of Tunisian participants had dwindled to a handful. It was agreed to try and convene a civil society plenary at least the day prior to the actual prepcom, and that the chair of that meeting would be from the African caucus.

(Rik Panganiban)


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WSIS I, Geneva 12/2003
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Charter of Civil Rights for a Sustainable  Knowledge Society

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On the Way Towards the Charter