In a new statement called the Tunis Commitment , governments said: “We reaffirm the commitments made in Geneva and build on them in Tunis by focusing on financial mechanisms for bridging the digital divide, on Internet governance and related issues, as well as on follow-up and implementation of the Geneva and Tunis decisions.”
At the close of the Summit, Mr. Yoshio Utsumi, Secretary-General of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) told a news conference that although WSIS was the culmination of a seven-year process, work to connect the world electronically was only just starting.
In Tunis, he said States agreed on numerous action lines to translate commitments into reality. ITU would take full responsibility for developing infrastructure and building confidence in the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs). It would also examine the feasibility of new commitments made at Tunis, he added.
Mr. Utsumi hailed the creation of a global Internet Governance Forum, which he said signified a recognition that no single government should play a dominant role in the decentralized future of the network.
Among other notable features of the Tunis Summit was its size. Mr. Utsumi said the Tunis meeting had drawn some 18,000 participants, including a growing number of heads of corporations. He also said that over 2,000 project proposals had been submitted to the “Golden Book” of new initiatives at the Summit.
Earlier, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan unveiled the prototype of a cheap and rugged $100 laptop for children, as part of the Summit's goal of giving poor communities access to the benefits of information technologies and networks.
“When they start reaching the hands of the world's children, these robust and versatile machines will enable kids to become more active in their own learning,” Mr. Annan said. “Children will be able to learn by doing, not just through instruction or rote memorization. And they will be able to open a new front in their education: peer-to-peer learning.”
The low-energy green laptops, powered by a windup crank, are the key to the One Laptop per Child initiative introduced by Mr. Annan and Professor Nicholas Negroponte of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab. For detailed information see http://www.itu.int/wsis/tunis/index.html