25 October 2004. The Task Force on Financial Mechanisms (TFFM) was decided at the summit in 2003 and finally set up on 4 October 2004 in New York. As civil society participation in the Task Force is extremely limited, and the TFFM staff at UNDP is already working on the final report, there are only limited chances for open discussion and consultation.
Two are coming up in the next few weeks: The UN ICT Task Force and Global Forum in November in Berlin, and an online consultation on financing mechanisms that has started today. The online consultations will again be hosted by the WSIS multistakeholder-website www.wsis-online.net. The forums are accessible at http://www.wsis-online.net/financing/forums/forum-view?forum_id=426395.
As the invitation statement there frames it, "the basic issues can be summed up in one overriding question: How can financial resources be most effectively mobilized to help harness the potential of ICT to promote human development throughout the world?"
The online consultation is structured into four parallel discussion threads:
- Most pressing needs and opportunities : What are the most pressing needs and opportunities for deploying ICT in the context of meeting basic development objectives in the developing world?
- How to harness and reinforce human resources : How can human resources be best harnessed and reinforced to maximize the potential of ICT for all segments of society?
- Efficiency of existing mechanisms : How effective have existing, traditional financial mechanisms been in meeting ICT development goals and how can such mechanisms be enhanced?
- Innovative mechanisms : Are there any examples of new, innovative or multi-sectoral mechanisms that should be considered, and what should be their role?
The consultations will end on 12 November 2004. A report will be available on http://www.wsis-online.net/financing/finance-root/TFFM in December.
The outcomes of the consultations will probably also be fed into the next meeting of the TFFM on 16 November in Geneva (together with the Group of the Friends of the Chair) and into the UN ICT Task Force Global Forum on "Promoting Enabling Environment for Digital Development" on 19 and 20 November in Berlin.