United Nations Information Technology Service (UNITeS):
A Legacy

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UNITeS/UNV@ the WSIS in Geneva - December 2003

UNV staff and volunteers were in high profile at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Geneva in December, creating one of the busiest and most-talked about booths in the exhibit area, hosting live onsite and online events, speaking at the official plenary, and working to contribute to the WSIS Declaration of Principles and Action Plan.

UNV staff affiliated with the UNITeS initiative created a mock telecenter at the "ICT4D Platform" exhibition area to demonstrate how community technology centers operate in the developing world. UN Volunteers from the field helped staff this center, along with staff from UNV headquarters, to help give visitors an idea of what helping people in the developing world is like and why collaboration among different groups is so important. This community telecenter in the exhibit area showcased UNV's two ICT-related initiatives: UNITeS and the Online Volunteering Service. The telecenter featured not only Internet access at four public terminals, but also information about UNV's resources and services, interaction with and guidance by UN Volunteers themselves who had engaged in ICT4D activities in the field, and practical workshops.

See photos of the UNV/UNITeS telecenter at the WSIS.

In addition to hundreds of visitors, the telecenter was graced by many special guests, including UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and his wife, Mrs. Nane Annan; Sarbuland Khan, the head of the UN ICT Task Force; Mohammed Cissé, Mayor of Timbuktu; Amir Dossal, Executive Director of UNFIP, Mark Malloch Brown, UNDP Administrator; and several veteran users of UNV's Online Volunteering Service.

The UNV/UNITeS telecenter at the WSIS was the brainchild of the head of UNV, Sharon Capeling-Alakija. Sadly, she died the month before the WSIS.

To see the complete, original UNITeS web site and its resources, including its extensive knowledge base, look up unites.org at archive.org

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This archived version of the UNITeS web site is hosted by Jayne Cravens