WSIS PROCESS AT PREPCOM3
  Civil Society Press Release, 26 September 2003
 
 
 
Civil Society announces today that if governments continue to exclude our principles, we will not lend legitimacy to the final official WSIS documents.

Civil society is already shaping information societies to achieve social, cultural, educational, political, and economic benefits for all. Communication rights are part of human rights. Human rights must be the framework for information societies. Without this, the WSIS vision of "an information society" is meaningless.

In the WSIS process, we have seen that, thus far, our main principles are not reflected in the results. Even though the process has been frustrating and inconsistent, with civil society included and excluded at the whim of governments, our experience has been one of closer engagement than has been the case at other United Nations conferences.  We hope that this is an experience that can be built on to ensure much closer involvement of civil society in the design and development of information societies.

While the spirit of the documents is market focused, civil society and some governments, especially from the south, will continue to support the rights of citizenship and promote the concept of cooperation instead of competition. Even if the outcomes of the WSIS do not reflect, at the end of the process, our principles, visions and perspectives, we will continue to be key actors in the definition of the nature and direction of information societies, one whose focus would be people's rights. We will insist that the proposal of the WSIS includes our priorities such as development and justice for the south, human rights, gender equity, community media, education, public goods, free software and open access to scientific and technological information, privacy, democratic and transparent internet governance, cultural and linguistic diversity, excluded minorities, indigenous people, etc.

We now have a stronger position, because as the days have progressed meaningful communication has emerged. But much remains to be done.  For our part, civil society, we are now in the process of drafting a framework document that will lay down our vision of inclusive, participatory, sustainable, equitable and just information societies.


 
 
 
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On the Way Towards the Charter