Internet governance remains sticking point
John Blau writes in InfoWorld:
Internet governance was a contentious issue at the first phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in December 2003 and, judging by the preparatory talks currently under way in Geneva, the issue will remain red hot at the second phase of the summit in November.
"The talks were off to a very slow start on Monday of last week but have since gained some momentum," said Sarah Parkes, a spokeswoman for the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), an arm of the United Nations (U.N.), which is hosting the final preparatory meeting (PrepCom-3) for the second phase of WSIS in Tunis, Tunisia.
"Today is crucial. If the delegates continue to disagree on Internet governance as they have until now, they may not have enough time to reach a final agreement by Friday when the meeting officially ends," Parkes said
Internet governance was one of two issues, the other funding, that split delegates attending the first WSIS in Geneva nearly two years ago and forced U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to establish separate tasks forces to study them.
The final report the Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG) and another paper drafted specifically for the preparatory meeting in Geneva are fueling the current debate. A particularly touchy element of the latter document is a section that focuses on "possible future arrangements," according to Parkes.