The role of International Standards in contributing to the development of a global Information Society was acknowledged at the recent World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), held in Geneva, Switzerland, on 10-12 December 2003.
The Summit Declaration of Principles, entitled “Building the Information Society: a global challenge in the new Millennium” recognizes that international standardization is one of the key enablers for the development of a global Information Society (item 44. of the Declaration, under section 6., Enabling environment):
“Standardization is one of the essential building blocks of the Information Society. There should be particular emphasis on the development and adoption of International Standards. The development and use of open, interoperable, non-discriminatory and demand-driven standards that take into account needs of users and consumers is a basic element for the development and greater diffusion of ICTs and more affordable access to them, particularly in developing countries. International Standards aim to create an environment where consumers can access services worldwide regardless of underlying technology.”
To achieve this result, a joint project team was set up by IEC, ISO and ITU, partnering also with the United Nation’s Economic Commission for Europe (UN/ECE). This team followed the whole Summit preparatory process.