A decade ago, the UN set up a slew of goals for better usage of information and communication technologies. Now, they have started to assess what has been achieved. One thing is abundantly clear: we are still grappling with problems from the past. Here is a dispatch from inside the talks.
A decade ago, the United Nations (UN) organized the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), a series of meetings to discuss the global role of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Their hopes were high for the beginning of true collaborations for development and democracy. WSIS created principles and set up action plans and goals, ranging from access to technologies to online ethics. Now, ten years later, the UN wants to review what has been accomplished. This week, non-governmental organizations (NGO)s had their second round of the WSIS (known now as WSIS+10) informal consultations in New York to agree on the biggest challenges in the ICT field and call for global action.