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The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) was first convened in 2003 to discuss the impact of information and communications technologies (ICTs) on our society. The Summit was significant because it involved heads of state — not just regulatory agencies or ministries — signalling a new era in the evolution of ICTs, up to this point largely outside government control and influence. WSIS met twice: the first time in 2003 and again in 2005.
Now, in 2015, countries are preparing for the Summit’s ten-year review, referred to as WSIS+10. The Review, taking place within the framework of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), formally began in June 2015, and is set to culminate with a high-level event in December. The December meeting is expected to produce a negotiated outcome text, which will be adopted by the governments represented at UNGA.
So what are the world’s governments thinking in the lead-up to the Review? It is obviously impractical to review the perspectives of all 193 UN member states. However, emerging consensus on an outcome can often be determined by a review of a smaller sample of key actors. This report aims to inform stakeholder engagement by providing insight into 15 key government perspectives: Brazil, Chile, China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, United Kingdom, and United States.
The report includes 15 country chapters. The chapter on South Africa was contributed by APC.