Communications Rights Summit Open Meeting

Wednesday 26th, 14:00-16:00, CICG, Room 15

Communications Rights Summit
Concept Paper

This describes a proposal to hold a one-day Communications Rights Summit, alongside the World Summit on the Information Society in December 2003. The initiative is being launched by the CRIS campaign (Communication Rights in the Information Society: in collaboration with other civil society networks and organisations, and is actively building a broader partnership.

The Rationale:

The focus of the conference is specific: In the context of human rights in general, it focuses on information and communication rights issues that surround the emergence of an information society.

The WSIS itself is constrained in the manner and depth to which these issues can be addressed. Many of them are debated and acted upon in other international organisations and entities. Yet it is essential that all be considered as a coherent, and interrelated, set of concerns. Indeed, in all likelihood they will determine which kind of information society emerges, and how the benefits will be realised and distributed.

The Summit and associated events offers a forum to explore these, and consider options for addressing them.


Its goals are:

  • To debate, explore and define the many dimensions of information and communication rights that must underpin any information society if it is to enrich the lives of all people.
  • To formulate a succinct statement that:
    • notes existing human rights relating to information and communication;
    • sets down that the conditions and environment necessary for these to be exercised, in practice, by people;
    • Explores the obstacles to achieving such an environment, and identifies the priority areas for action and intervention.
  • To engage widespread participation in a set of voluntary and collaborative actions to implement these rights in a manner that is meaningful to people in their everyday lives, and to define what follow up to this first Summit would be appropriate.


The Summit is an open event welcoming those in civil society, governments and intergovernmental organisations, and private sector, who recognise the need to address these issues in the context of the information society and wish to work together to achieve the goals.


The event, with a duration of one day, will take place alongside the first WSIS Summit in December 2003. It will be the culmination of a series of workshops, thematic debates, drafting activities, online events and so forth, designed to ensure a thorough debate on the issues. The process will take advantage both of events surrounding the WSIS Summit itself, and of other events including the WSIS PrepCom 3, international gatherings, including those of civil society. It will be supported be publications, and electronic fora.

The Communications Rights Summit is thus grounded not only within the WSIS process but also within ongoing civil society processes and discourse.

For information contact Seán Ó Siochrú; Myriam Horngren:



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HBF publications on WSIS:
Visions in Process I (pdf)
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PrepCom1, June 2004
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Charter of Civil Rights for a Sustainable  Knowledge Society

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On the Way Towards the Charter