APC asserts `access´ to the internet & capacity-building are key to participative internet governance

ATHENS, GREECE, Nov 2

The Source: APC website">Association for Progressive Communications

(APC), a network of "What is civil society?", initial working definition adopted by the Centre for Civil Society at the London School of Economics">civil society organisations

working with ICTs and the Source: TechSoup Glossary and GenderIT.org">internet

for social justice and sustainable development thinks that the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is a forum for multi-stakeholder policy dialogue on how the internet is run. It was set up at the end of 2005 by the United Nations Secretary-General following a resolution made by governments at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS).

Style information: N/a

Source: APC">IGF is a valuable space for policy dialogue.

As stated in APC’s Internet Rights charter, all people have the right to have access to the internet. For this to happen, it requires "state" in this glossary). As a general rule, "government" should not be capitalised.

Source: Wikipedia">government

leadership, market engagement, and most importantly, citizen and civil society participation. The IGF succeeded in being a platform where diverse groups could interact and debate.

As the first Internet Governance Forum (IGF) that took place Athens in early November 2006 draws to a close, APC would like to insist on two issues be given priority:

Firstly, APC believes that the problem of affordable access to communication infrastructure and services need urgent attention. People in developing countries spend up to 15% of their disposable income on communication services, such as mobile telephony, while those in the developed world spend around 3%.

Secondly, APC asserts that capacity building is of prime importance to ensure participation in internet development, Europa glossary">governance

and policy. For example, policy that relates to access for people with disabilities, GenderIT.org and APC Internet Rights Charter">freedom of expression

, technical standards and multi-lingualism.

APC appreciated the fact that access to the internet was considered by governments, the private sector and civil society as a priority for the future development of the internet. But more is needed.

There has to be a specific focus on building internet SearchTelecom.com">backbone

infrastructure in the poorest and least connected regions of the world.

The internet is an essential public infrastructure. It can help people make phone calls, share information, run businesses, keep governments accountable, and express cultural richness and diversity. The participation of all stakeholders in the actual development, implementation and use of the internet can thereby only be secured by heavy investment into broadband infrastructure.

APC recommends that IGF II organisers make this one of two priorities in its agenda, the second being capacity building.

APC believes that capacity building, which was a crosscutting theme in IGF I, needs even greater focus in IGF II.

Capacity building is not just about training workshops, or knowledge transfer; it is about sustainable skills development.

It requires building a common knowledge base; providing accessible information resources; dialogue between people with different experiences and skills, and participation in national, regional and global policy forums. It requires building networks and communities of expertise working on internet development and policy.

The Association for Progressive Communications expresses its commitment to human rights on the internet by joining a dynamic coalition that will explore issues such as digital identities, the link between protection of "African journalists trained in how to communicate securely online" (APCNews and Toni Eliasz, 30 September 2004), Take Back the Tech! and APC Internet Rights Charter">privacy

and development, and the importance of privacy and anonymity for freedom of expression.

APC also reaffirms its commitment to environmental Merriam Webster Online Dictionary, APC and "Sustainable Information and Communication Technology (ICT): Thoughts by Batchelor and Norrish" (April 2002)">sustainability

by proposing that the Source: Tunis Agenda for the Information Society">internet governance

forum explores the important emerging issue of the impact of internet development on human health, safety and the environment.

APC’s Internet Rights charter: http://rights.apc.org/charter.shtml
APC Wikipedia and Open Access Models: Options for Improving Backbone Access in Developing Countries (with a Focus on Sub-Saharan Africa), infoDev (PDF)">open access

issue paper: http://rights.apc.org/documents/open_access_EN.pdf

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Contact details:

Frédéric Dubois
Information coordinator, APC
http://www.apc.org
+49 163 6655 405
frederic@apc.org

Author: --- (APC)
Contact: frederic [at] apc.org
Source: APC
Date: 11/02/2006
Location: ATHENS, Greece
Category: Internet Access

(END/2006)

Media contact

Mallory Knodel
Communications & network building manager
Tel: +1 514 573 6340
mallory@apc.org
Montreal, Quebec

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