German Civil Society Coordination towards WSIS
  Statement on WSIS themes is sent to German government
 
 
  3 September 2003. The German WSIS Civil Society Coordinating Group has issued a statement on central themes of the WSIS Declaration of Principles to the German government. The statement refers to issues such as communication rights, privacy and media diversity. The civil society positions thus conveyed will inform and influence the further thematic work of the German government at WSIS.

The government had asked for a statement on several issue areas which had remained unclear in the WSIS process so far. After extensive debates within the Civil Society Coordinating Group, a detailed position paper was developed, including concrete proposals for language on the following issues:

1) Communication Rights
2) Information Infrastructure
3) Free Access to Information and Knowledge
4) Privacy/Transparency
5) Media Diversity
6) Digital Solidarity Fund

For example, the Group calls for an integration of communication rights into the WSIS documents, open standards for technological infrastructure, an extension of the Global Knowledge Commons and of free access to knowledge, better protection of privacy, and a distinct focus on traditional media and media pluralism.

The discussions and proposals involved contributions from representatives of a number of organisations and institutions, including Heinrich-Boell-Foundation, Nethics, University of Konstanz, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin, Free University of Berlin, ODEM.org, Terre des Femmes, University of Bremen, Network New Media, ver.di, Humanistische Union, Attac-IPR-Group, Research Group Information Society and Security (FOGIS), PerGlobal und CAMECO.

In a first response a representative of the Ministry for Economy and Work thanked the Group for its constructive statement but also pointed to some of the conflicts which necessarily persist between the thematic position of civil society and that of the government as well as, particularly, that of the business sector represented by the International Chamber of Commerce. The proposals will be discussed at a meeting with government delegates on 11 September.

Download: Civil Society Statement (pdf) (language proposals are in english, further explanantions in german)
 
 
 
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