Today there is considerable attention being paid to what will be the long-term result of the WSIS. Since the time the Summit ended, an organizational infrastructure has been assembled within the UN system to implement the WSIS goals, and to routinely measure the effectiveness of these efforts. To the frustration of many, the WSIS did not achieve all that it could, while for others it represents little more than a polite gathering of diplomats, corporate public relations executives and NGO representatives that was likely never to produce any meaningful results. Of course, it is too soon to tell if the agenda outlined by the WSIS will be fully realized. But the WSIS unquestionably did produce one very positive outcome, which is that it has concentrated attention to the ongoing political, economic, social and cultural significance of the global resources for information dissemination and communication. By examining the institutions and practices that are widely understood to define the international human rights regime, this essay offers a perspective for thinking about the symbolic significance of international summits and resulting declarations in general, and of the outcomes of the WSIS in particular.
GMJ: Mediterranean Edition 1(2) Fall 2006. PDF.