Universal Declaration of Human Rights @ 60+ logo
Gathering a body of global agreements
logo of United Nations General Assembly


  United Nations


A/RES/56/183 





General Assembly

Distr: General
21 December 2001

black line

Fifty-sixth session
Agenda item 95 c

Resolution adopted by the General Assembly

[on the report of the Second Committee (A/56/558/Add.3)]

56/183. World Summit on the Information Society

The General Assembly,

Recognizing the urgent need to harness the potential of knowledge and technology for promoting the goals of the United Nations Millennium Declaration /1 and to find effective and innovative ways to put this potential at the service of development for all,

Recognizing also the pivotal role of the United Nations system in promoting development, in particular with respect to access to and transfer of technology, especially information and communication technologies and services, inter alia, through partnerships with all relevant stakeholders,

Convinced of the need, at the highest political level, to marshal the global consensus and commitment required to promote the urgently needed access of all countries to information, knowledge and communication technologies for development so as to reap the full benefits of the information and communication technologies revolution, and to address the whole range of relevant issues related to the information society, through the development of a common vision and understanding of the information society and the adoption of a declaration and plan of action for implementation by Governments, international institutions and all sectors of civil society,

Recalling the contributions to international consensus in this field achieved by the Millennium Declaration and the agreements reached at other international conferences and summits in recent years,

Taking note of the action plan presented by the Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union to the Administrative Committee on Coordination/2 for the holding of the World Summit on the Information Society and the creation, by the Administrative Committee on Coordination, of a high-level Summit organizing committee, chaired by the Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union and consisting of the heads of United Nations bodies and other international organizations interested in participating in the process leading to the Summit,

Considering that the Summit is to be convened under the patronage of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, with the International Telecommunication Union taking the lead role in its preparation, in cooperation with interested United Nations bodies and other international organizations as well as the host countries,

Recalling the ministerial declaration concerning information and communication technologies, adopted by the Economic and Social Council at the high-level segment of its substantive session of 2000,/3 and the subsequent work done in this regard, including the creation of the Information and Communication Technologies Task Force, as well as the welcoming of the forthcoming Summit by the Council in its agreed conclusions 2001/1,/4

Recognizing the need to harness synergies and to create cooperation among the various information and communication technologies initiatives, at the regional and global levels, currently being undertaken or planned to promote and foster the potential of information and communication technologies for development by other international organizations and civil society,

1.Welcomes the resolution adopted by the Council of the International Telecommunication Union at its 2001 session, in which the Council endorsed the proposal of the Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union to hold the World Summit on the Information Society at the highest possible level in two phases, the first in Geneva from 10 to 12 December 2003 and the second in Tunis in 2005, pursuant to resolution 73 adopted by the Plenipotentiary Conference of the International Telecommunication Union at its 1998 session, held in Minneapolis, United States of America;

2.Recommends that the preparations for the Summit take place through an open-ended intergovernmental preparatory committee, which would define the agenda of the Summit, finalize both the draft declaration and the draft plan of action, and decide on the modalities of the participation of other stakeholders in the Summit;

3.Invites the International Telecommunication Union to assume the leading managerial role in the executive secretariat of the Summit and its preparatory process;

4.Invites Governments to participate actively in the preparatory process of the Summit and to be represented in the Summit at the highest possible level;

5.Encourages effective contributions from and the active participation of all relevant United Nations bodies, in particular the Information and Communication Technologies Task Force, and encourages other intergovernmental organizations, including international and regional institutions, non-governmental organizations, civil society and the private sector to contribute to, and actively participate in, the intergovernmental preparatory process of the Summit and the Summit itself;

6.Invites the international community to make voluntary contributions to the special trust fund established by the International Telecommunication Union to support the preparations for and the holding of the Summit, as well as to facilitate the effective participation of representatives of developing countries, in particular the least developed countries, in the regional meetings to be held in the second half of 2002, in the preparatory meetings to be held in the first half of 2002 and in 2003, and in the Summit itself;

7.Invites the Secretary-General of the United Nations to inform all heads of State and Government of the adoption of the present resolution;

8.Invites the Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union to submit to the General Assembly, at its fifty-seventh and fifty-eighth sessions, through the Economic and Social Council, for information, a report on the preparations for the Summit.

90th plenary meeting
21 December 2001




1/ See resolution 55/2.

2/ The Administrative Committee on Coordination was renamed the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination pursuant to Economic and Social Council decision 2001/321 of 24 October 2001.

3/ See Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-fifth Session, Supplement No. 3 (A/55/3/Rev.1), chap. III, para. 17.

4/ A/56/3, chap. V, agreed conclusions 2001/1, para 7. For the final text see Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-sixth session, Supplement No. 3.