Kommentar von Kofi Annan zum WSIS

Der UNO-Generalsekretär Kofi Annan hat in der aktuellen Washington Post ein Editorial zum in der übernächsten Woche startenden World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) verfasst. Hier ist ein kleiner Ausschnitt daraus: The U.N. Isn’t a Threat to the Net.


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The main objective of the World Summit on the Information Society to be held this month in Tunisia is to ensure that poor countries get the full benefits that new information and communication technologies — including the Internet — can bring to economic and social development. But as the meeting draws nearer, there is a growing chorus of misinformation about it.

One mistaken notion is that the United Nations wants to „take over,“ police or otherwise control the Internet. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The United Nations wants only to ensure the Internet’s global reach, and that effort is at the heart of this summit.

Strong feelings about protecting the Internet are to be expected. In its short life, the Internet has become an agent of revolutionary change in health, education, journalism and politics, among other areas. In the United Nations‘ own work for development, we have glimpsed only the beginning of the benefits it can provide: for victims of disaster, quicker, better-coordinated relief; for poor people in remote areas, lifesaving medical information; and, for people trapped under repressive governments, access to uncensored information as well as an outlet to air their grievances and appeal for help.