Press Team of the German WSIS Coordination Group
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In Germany, a WSIS working group initiated by the Network New Media and the Heinrich Böll Foundation has been meeting continuously since summer 2002. The group has debated the themes of the WSIS, developed civil society positions and planned own interventions. Delegates of the working group have attended important preparatory conferences, since the Pan-European conference in November 2002. They monitor the developments and try to influence the agenda in favor of civil society demands. Single members of the working group are engaged in the sub-committees and caucuses of the international Civil Society Plenary Coordination Group.
One outcome of substantial debates related to this working group has been the "Charter of Civil Rights for Sustainable Knowledge Societies". It was drafted by a an editorial group of well-known academics and NGO delegates and was publicly debated and improved later on. A first version of the charter was submitted as thematic input to PrepCom 2, the third and last version was published at PrepCom3 in September 2003.
In January 2003, an open meeting of this working group with members of other non-governmental organizations, alternative media and scientific institutions was held in Berlin. The working group was expanded and officially established as the "German WSIS Civil Society Coordination Group". At meetings throughout the year, even more interested groups and organizations from Germany became involved.
Since the Paris "Intersessional Conference" in July 2003, the German Civil Society Coordination Group was able to send one delegate into the German government delegation. At the summit, there were six delegates from civil society in the Government delegation.
Over the year, the German Group has been influential and active in a number of international civil society activites. Among them are
- the European Caucus (Chair: Georg Greve, Hamburg)
- the Patents, Copyright and Trademarks Caucus (co-Chair: Georg Greve, Hamburg)
- the Community Media Working Group (co-coordinator: Arne Hintz, Hamburg)
- the Privacy and Security Working Group (co-coordinator: Ralf Bendrath, Berlin/Bremen)
- the Strategy Working Group established at PrepCom3A in November (coordinator: Ralf Bendrath, Berlin/Bremen).
- the Alternative Summit events "WSIS - We Seize!" (co-coordination and networking: Alien8)
The German WSIS Civil Society Coordination Group has taken part in the German activites at the ICT4D (ICT for Development) exhibition during the summit with its own presentations. You found us at stand 857 in hall 4 at the Palexpo.
Besides the actors involved in the coordinating group, a number of other German organizations are taking part in the summit process and try to push civil society issues onto the agenda. The spectrum of civil society groups includes the youth network Yois, the alternative news service Indymedia, and the nation-wide congress of Green Youth.
E-Mail discussion list of the German WSIS Coordination Group