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Ten years after the World Summit on the Information Society, world leaders and high-level participants from governments, the private sector, NGOs, intergovernmental organisations and other groups will meet in Paris later this month to take stock of progress towards the goals set by that summit.

Dubbed WSIS+10, the Paris summit, set for 25 to 27 February, will review the major changes that have occurred in the so-called “Information society” and make recommendations for the future.

The meeting, hosted by UNESCO and co-organised with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), comes at a time of  considerable public debate around the world over the future development of the Internet, including issues around the defence of the right to freedom of expression and freedom of information online, the growth of multilingualism on the net and the ever-increasing influence and impact of communications technologies on all aspects of people’s lives.

The summit program will consider many issues, from Internet governance, to the role of ICT’s in the classroom, the ethical challenges of the information society, the power of citizen journalism and open access to scientific information.

Two key reports will be presented at the Paris summit, including ‘Technology, Broadband and Education: advancing the education for all agenda.’, and the EURid-UNESCO World Report on IDN Deployment 2012.

The ‘Technology, Broadband and Education’ report will be launched during a debate on the lessons learned on broadband and education over the past ten years. It is the fourth report to be published by the Broadband Commission, and analyses trends, data, and several case studies to explain how technology and broadband are radically changing education.

The EURid-UNESCO World Report on IDN Deployment was prepared with the European Registry for Internet Domains (EURid), and reviews the uptake of IDN registrations since they first became available as Top Level Domains in 2009, and highlights the challenges posed, notably, by the slow growth of local language use on the Internet.

 The outcomes of this first WSIS+10 review event will feed into the UN review on progress towards the Millennium Development Goals, and a possible post-2015 sustainable development framework.

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Peter Dinham

 

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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