May 18, 2007 V5


Written Contribution by the

WSIS Civil Society Working Group on

Financing Mechanisms

Commission on Science and Technology for Development, Tenth session, 21–25 May 2007

The WSIS Civil Society Working Group on Financial Mechanisms acknowledges the decision to entrust the Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) with the task of assessing the WSIS implementation and coordinating the WSIS follow-up. For this task to be executed successfully -i.e. achieving the WSIS objectives enshrined in the Geneva Action Plan and in the Agenda of Tunis- our Group asks for urgently complementing the assessment mandate of the CSTD, and giving it the necessary resources, both human and financial.

Considering the procedures, the WSIS rules were supplemented by effective and efficient practices that allowed its two preparatory phases to achieve an unprecedented level of multi-stakeholderism. The ongoing WSIS implementation process by the leading UN agencies, and within the IGF, appears to -although partially- follow this trend towards an ever-increasing inclusive participation of all stakeholders, and the CSTD should catalyze those efforts.

Tunis Assessment Lines

In addition to their respective Civil Society Declarations, the outcome of the Geneva process is the Declaration of Principles and the Geneva Plan of Action, while the outcome of the Tunis process is the Tunis Commitment and the Tunis Agenda.

The Geneva Plan of action implementation has been structured along specific Action Lines. However, they lack of clear priorities. The governance part of the Tunis Agenda is implemented trough the specific mechanism of the Internet Governance Forum, while the financial part of the Tunis agenda has been left as an orphan without care, without direction, without specific implementation nor integration in any of the follow-up mechanisms. Therefore, it is suggested, in order to recover some symmetry with the Geneva process, that the CSTD should constitute Assessment Lines facilitated by specific UN agencies and other organizations, within similar rules of procedures and practices.

The proposed four post-WSIS Assessment Lines are :

A1: Official Development Assistance ODA ( UNDP, World Bank, EU-EFD)

A2: Multi-stakeholder Partnerships ( UNCTAD, ITU )

A3: Innovative Financial Mechanisms ( UNCTAD, DSF )

A4: Infrastructure and International Interconnection costs ( ITU, UNCTAD, a representative body of African Union, e.g. ATU )

Facilitators and co-facilitators have been suggested on a exploratory basis, and CSTD could select other facilitators as appropriate. The digital solidarity fund ( DSF) has informed us informally, it would be glad to consider contributing as a co-facilitator. As with action lines, it is suggested that each direction line be further divided into themes implemented with the help of multi-stakeholder sub-groups facilitated by moderators. The WSIS-Finance working group would be glad to contribute as co-moderator to some of the themes.

These Assessment Lines have been mentioned as cross-cutting themes in many previous action lines meetings in Geneva, Paris and Beijing last year, and represent issues that must be dealt with, in order to take an optimal profit from all possible synergies, and to avoid redundant and uncoordinated financial efforts, thus achieving an overall success for the implementation of almost all the Geneva action lines. Clear priorities in implementing objectives of the Geneva Plan of Action should be set-up coherently with the Assessment Lines and assessed by CSTD in full respect of multi-stakeholder participation.