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The United Nations has announced its support for the World Summit on the Information Society, an international conference that aims to harness the development potential of information and communication technologies (ICTs).

The summit — which will be held in two phases, the first in Geneva, Switzerland in 2003 and the second in Tunisia in 2005 — is a “unique opportunity for all key players to develop a shared vision of ways to bridge the digital divide and create a truly global information society,” says UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

A UN resolution calls on governments to participate in summit preparations and to be presented at the highest possible level. It also asks UN and intergovernmental organisations, as well as non-governmental organisations, civil society and the private sector to become actively involved.

The summit is being organised by the International Telecommunications Union, an organisation through which governments and the private sector coordinate global telecommunication networks and services.

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