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December 07, 2003Agreement Reached? Reuters have reported that the path has been cleared for an agreement to be reached at WSIS - well almost. The spokesman for Marc Furrer, the senior Swiss government official who chaired the meeting told Daily Summit how they steered the delegates around the stumbling blocks.
Government representatives from almost 200 countries hammered out the sticking points and have come up with a draft text which they will recommend to the heads of each national delegation in Geneva. The Swiss acted as chair for the meeting and divided the meeting into strategic sub-groups in the hope of reaching agreement on the main issues i.e. freedom of speech, internet governance and security, and intellectual property rights.
The use of sub-groups seems to have been crucial, leaving Mr Furrer able to say he was "very gratified by how much progress has been made towards an agreed text". He hopes the one outstanding issue - the idea of a digital "solidarity fund" - will be sorted out at a further set of meetings planned for Tuesday morning.
We're pleased, but sceptical. Has China really agreed to incorporate articles 19 and 29 of the Universal Declaration of the Human Rights in the WSIS Declaration of Principles? There have been so many disagreements up to this point, we wonder how so much has been overcome so quickly.
We look forward to seeing the new draft declaration when it makes it to the ITU
website (later on Sunday, apparently).