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Canadian Delegation To Participate In Un World Summit On Information Society


Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew and Industry Minister David L. Emerson today announced plans for Canada’s participation in the second phase of the UN World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), which will take place in Tunis, Tunisia, from November 16 to 18, 2005.

“Canada is proud to be involved in the World Summit on the Information Society,” said Minister Pettigrew. “Living in a vast country, Canadians understand the importance of information and communications technologies for social and economic development, and the need for effective partnerships among government, industry and civil society. We are proud to share our experiences with the rest of the world.”

“Access to information and communications technologies is critical for social well-being and economic success in the new global marketplace,” said Minister Emerson. “Canada is pleased to participate in this summit where we will continue our work with other governments, industry and civil society in promoting the advancement of ICT access and adoption in developing countries around the world.”

Canada will be sending a delegation led by Senator Mac Harb and including officials from more than 10 government departments and agencies, the Government of Quebec, and representatives of civil society. Senator Harb will address the summit plenary on Thursday, November 17. Canada will be involved in more than 20 official parallel events, which will address topics as diverse as building the capacity of local telecentre operators around the world, indigenous peoples and the information society. In addition, Canada will showcase the successes of its information society at Canada’s pavilion at the “ICT 4 All” exhibition centre.

The World Summit on the Information Society is held in two phases. The first phase, which took place from December 10 to 12, 2003, in Geneva, Switzerland, developed a declaration that reflected a common vision and principles for the evolution of the information society and a plan of action that outlined concrete goals and targets. The Tunis summit will build on the previous phase to implement the plan of action and address issues related to Internet governance and financing of information and communications technologies for development.

Canada was a lead in player the first phase of the WSIS process and will continue to play an important role in its second phase. The Canadian government has supported the process through a total contribution over the past three years of $1.7 million to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) special trust fund for WSIS.


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