The first victim of war is the truth, so goes the old proverb. At a conference yesterday in the World Forum on Communication Rights, a parallel forum to the official World Summit on the Information Society, speakers from the United States, Colombia, and a Kenyan technologist working in Rwanda took up the theme of how war situations deny communities the right to communicate and how citizens can and are responding to break the silence.
Today, December 10th at 14:00, the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) officially began – after a preparatory process that was longer that foreseen, due to difficulty in reaching a consensus on the Declaration of Principles and the Action Plan, the final documents to be discussed and sanctioned by the heads of government present in Geneva.
After postponing the decision on management of the Source: TechSoup Glossary and GenderIT.org">internet, Source: APC ICT Policy Handbook and APC Annual Report 2005.">WSIS negotiators have put the digital fund on hold. Will the idea for a digital fund end its life gathering dust on a bureaucrat's shelf? That's the question many delegates must be asking themselves after Tuesday's press conference detailing the
outcome of talks on the matter.
After postponing the decision on management of the internet, WSIS negotiators have put the digital fund on hold. Will the idea for a digital fund end its life gathering dust on a bureaucrat’s shelf? That’s the question many delegates must be asking themselves after Tuesday’s press conference detailing the
outcome of talks on the matter.
Seán Ó Siochrú is a researcher, writer and activist in media and communication.
As a director of Nexus Research Cooperative in Dublin, he works for
international agencies in information and communication technologies. A founder
of the Platform for Communication Rights, he has been actively involved in the
WSIS process since the beginning.
APC member in South Korea, Korean Progressive Network Jinbonet’ launched an online guide to human rights in the Information society on December 10th, 2003, the 55th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
APC Women's Networking Support Programme (APC WSNP) celebrates a decade of empowering women through information and communicatio
GENEVA, 11 December 2003. The APC Women’s Networking Support Programme (APC WNSP) celebrated ten remarkable years of working to make ICTs accessible to women yesterday at the World Summit on the Information Society in Geneva.
In honour, they hosted a day-long series of panels, workshops and presentations which included a Gender and ICT award winners panel, a presentation on the WNSP’s innovative gender evaluation methodology for ICTs which included the experiences of GEM testers from several continents, a session on free and open source software for African women from APC-Africa-Women, and the WENT Asia fifth anniversary awards.
The WSIS Civil Society Plenary unanimously adopted the Civil Society Declaration to the World Summit on the Information Society this week. The document “Shaping Information Societies for Human Needs” sets a landmark in the type of consensus-building that envisions the priorities to which civil society should commit to in order to develop a people-centred and an inclusive approach to the Information Society. Civil society representatives came together to produce this declaration in order to overcome the narrow understanding that Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) mean telecommunications and the internet, marginalising key issues of knowledge and technology development.
The squabbling over whether industrialised countries should help pay for technology infrastructure in the South continues to deflect attention from the potential of ICTs in development. Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade, who is pushing for the creation of a fund to help developing countries bridge the digital divide. Industrialised states are said to be firmly opposed to the idea, claiming that programmes to make up the ICT backlog should be financed by existing aid funds.
However, poor nations question just how far these amounts can be stretched – and whether information technology will receive the attention it should in a world where humanitarian crises often clamour for attention.
As the WSIS opens, the international community finds it self drawn into the debate over whether the Internet’s core infrastructurethe domains should remain managed by industry or be taken over by governments, via the United Nations.
Stories in English and French from the IPS news agency and InfoSud agence de presse about media, communication and technology. During the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) this website will carry daily, electronic versions of the TerraViva Conference newspaper from Geneva.
Policy decisions being made today will impact on the peoples of the world’s ability and potential to use ICTs as tools in their work tomorrow. At the United Nations’ World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) held December 10-12 in Geneva – governments will sign a declaration that will enhance or hinder access to ICTs for the vast majority of the world’s population. APC has been actively participating in the WSIS process and helping others get involved by producing resources, websites and guides. APC is at stand 842 in the Human Capacity & Empowerment street at the ICT4D Platform in the Palexpo, Geneva. Come and meet us!
APC’s member in Brazil, RITS, set up the OPPI site as a web-based tool for monitoring, analyzing and undertaking projects and policies which contribute to infoinclusion, as well as covering other issues related to democratization of ICTs in Brazil.
The meeting theme was inspired in APC action areas and the preparatory work for the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) to take place in Geneva in December. Participants were APC members from around the world, ICT and ICT policy experts, trainers, local partners and the other representatives from the APC community who took part in intensive training on ICT policy. In addition, APC membership defined APC’s Strategic Priorities for 2004-6 and elected a new executive board for the next two years. Out-going chair, Stefan Hackenthal, praised the “good regional distribution and a much better gender balance (than in the previous board) with women now making up almost half the number”.
On October 19th, APC member in Rosario, Argentina celebrated the first anniversary of the launch of their community information portal Enredando. "Enredando" means "I’m part of a network" as well as "weaving a web". In addition, TAU has recently been honoured by their city government – their networking and ICT activities have been declared ‘of municipal interest’ in an official decree. APCNews covered Enredando’s launch last year and we spoke to coordinator, Luis “Pipo” Martinez about how Enredando has evolved since 2002.
CEPES is a registered non-profit based in Lima, Peru which serves the economic and social development needs of campesinos and small farmers. CEPES’ most significant current project is a local development project in a coastal valley
the Chancay-Huaral near Lima. The project will eventually directly benefit 6,000 subsistence farmers through the implementation and operation of a local online agricultural information system. "CEPES is convinced that to have some sort of political impact, we needed to become part of a worldwide movement which focuses on ICTs. The issue demands a global approach, because it goes beyond local and national boundaries," said Maicu Alvarado, head of the ICT for development office. "This was one of the primary reasons we sought APC membership."
The Open Forum of Cambodia established the first connection to the internet from Cambodia in 1994 and has played a pioneering role in ICT in Cambodia ever since. They have developed tools to allow Cambodians to use their native Khmer script
which in unique in Asia in e-mail and mailing lists and to read Khmer-language web pages which automatically download the Khmer font for Cambodian readers. The Open Forum was formed to provide, as the name suggests, an unrestricted space for communication amongst people of different backgrounds and opinions – not an easy task in a complex war-torn society.
ArabDev is a non-profit based in Cairo, Egypt dedicated to spreading information and communication technology (ICT) knowledge and skills among poor communities in Egypt, particularly women and youth. ArabDev aims to help these communities find better livelihood opportunities, through improved access to information and its use in skill development as well as small and micro-enterprises. ArabDev joined APC in September and is APC’s first member from both North Africa and an Arab state.
Unimondo is an independent non-profit media network based in Padua, Northern Italy and founded in 1998. Unimondo’s more than 300 partners
most of which are small to medium non-profit organisations from the centre-north of Italy include environmental organisations, international solidarity NGOs, peace groups, women associations, and human rights advocacy campaigns. "Unimondo wants to be an APC member to work on common projects and campaigns, to reach, communicate and exchange with organisations and social movements worldwide," said Unimondo executive director, Jason Nardi.
At the beginning of October, Econnect launched a long-awaited internet project called "Kormidlo" – a directory-type comprehensive information source on the civic society sector, how it works, activities and topics of interest.