In December of 2003, the world came together in Geneva at the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) to declare a “common desire and commitment to build a people-centred, inclusive and development-oriented Information Society”, and thereby ushered in an era of harnessing the power of information and communication technology (ICT) to contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The resulting Geneva Plan of Action established targets and the eleven action lines, which guide development in specific areas. The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) recognized the achievements of the Geneva phase in its resolution 59/220
The second phase of WSIS, conducted in Tunis in 2005, built upon the achievements of the Geneva Plan, with the resulting Tunis Agenda addressing additional issues, such as financing and internet governance. It also requested the Secretary-General, in consultation with the Chief Executive Board for Coordination (CEB) to establish within the CEB, a United Nations Group on the Information Society (UNGIS), consisting of the relevant UN organizations with the mandate to facilitate the implementation of the WSIS outcomes.
Paragraph 111 of the Tunis Agenda, endorsed by the General Assembly in resolution 60/252
, requested the General Assembly to undertake the overall review of the implementation of the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society in 2015. In response, the General Assembly in resolution 68/302
, decided that the overall review will be concluded by a two-day high-level meeting of the General Assembly, to be preceded by an intergovernmental process that also takes into account inputs from all relevant stakeholders of the World Summit on the Information Society.