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December 09, 2003ITU Sec-Gen speaks. Mr Yoshio Utsumi, Secretary General of the ITU, has been talking to the media. He's insisted that he wants to turn the Draft Declaration of Principles into a reality, and announced that the final agreement on the last contentious pre-summit issue - the digital solidarity fund - "is to be made very soon - so this summit will not be so disastrous".
Daily Summit asked him if the international fund being discussed would be dependent on their practices of human rights and freedom of expression, or will the money go to them free of charge? "I don't know at all" was his response.
He went on to explain that there are two trains of thought at WSIS. One is that many countries already have existing mechanisms to help bridge the digital divide and those mechanisms should be used to their full extent - and so they believe that if the creation of a new fund is necessary it should only be done after studying all existing mechanisms. Others argue that the creation of the new fund is necessary anyway, and this is a voluntary system - in fact some countries have already pledged money.