Annan: The U.N. isn’t a threat to the Net

The main objective of the WSIS is to ensure that poor countries get the full benefits that ICT can bring to economic and social development. But as the meeting draws nearer, there is a growing chorus of misinformation about it, UN secretary general Kofi Annan writes in the Washington Post of November 5. Internet governance is being dealt with in a dispersed and fragmented manner, while developing countries feel left out of these structures. Annan: ‘The Internet has become so important for almost every country’s economy and administration that it would be naive to expect governments not to take an interest, especially since public service applications will become even more widespread.’ While everyone acknowledges the need for more international participation in discussions of Internet governance, Annan argues, the disagreement is over how to achieve it. He urges all stakeholders to come to Tunis, ‘ready to bridge the digital divide and ready to build an open, inclusive information society that enriches and empowers all people’.