Access to information
IL FAIT BON VIVRE EN TUNISIE? The state of human rights in Tunisia, host of the next World Summit on the Information Society
Attendees at the recent phase of WSIS couldn’t fail to notice the prolific presence of Tunisian delegates. From civil society plenaries through gatherings over coffee to the government sessions, they had their say in preparation for the November summit. But can a country whose government censors journalists, curtails web access and imprisons internet users without trial, be a fit host for the UN’s World Summit on the Information Society? Maud Hand seeks answers to one of the hottest questions of Prepcom 2 for APCNews.
The complexity of the WSIS process has been discussed extensively. But APC executive director Anriette Esterhuysen questions whether the WSIS is uniquely complex. In this article for APCNews she explores multistakeholder participation in policy processes, particularly at national level, and examines consensus and conflict in the WSIS civil society space and why the issue of collaboration with the private sector has become so contentious.
Spanish APC member, Pangea, has been at the service of the community of people and organisations that work for social change for more than a decade. It has dedicated itself to this by facilitating communication through e-mail and conferences, internet and web connections. On 9 March 2005 Pangea will commemorate this with a special conference attended, as distinguished guests, by Julian Casabuenas (Colnodo) and Dafne Plou (APC Women’s Networking Support Programme).
Creative Commons could be a very useful initiative in West Africa, but there are a number of challenges that need to be taken into consideration before we will see any significant African participation in the global movement. This was the general consensus of participants at a workshop held by the APC in collaboration with the Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT in Accra, Ghana at the beginning of February.
The Association for Progressive Communications (APC) is undertaking a major study of developing country participation in the second phase of WSIS. This study builds on the analysis of developing country involvement in ICT decision making in the ‘Louder Voices’ report, published in 2002, and on a review of African participation in the first phase of WSIS which APC undertook last year.
Government delegates are meeting in Paris, from January 31 to February 12th, to negotiate the near-final text of the proposed UNESCO Convention on Cultural Diversity.
The CRIS Campaign released a statement to the Social Assemblies of the World Social Forum putting the spotlight on communication rights violations in Tunisia, the host country for the 2005 World Summit on the Information Society. The statement also lays out CRIS’ support for proposals at UNESCO for a strong international convention to promote and defend cultural diversity – a step which could provide a legislative defence for nations contesting damaging international free trade agreements. APC is a member of CRIS.
Activists from Tunisia, Italy, Paraguay and Brazil reported on conditions in their countries and the response of civil society. APCNews reports from the Vth World Social Forum.
The first four World Social Forums — from 2001 to 2004 — were extraordinary moments of congregation, participation, debate and exchange amongst tens of thousands of activists from around the world, who transformed the WSF into the trademark meeting of civil society.
The control wielded by big media and the need for strategies to challenge that power were among the central themes addressed at the First Information and Communication World Forum (ICWF).