Letter to the President of the UN General Assembly on the World Summit on the Information Society Ten-year Review (WSIS+10)

Publication date: 
June 2015
Author: 
APC
Publisher: 
APC
Author: 

On 9 June, ahead of the UN General Assembly’s first “stocktaking session” on the ten-year review of the World Summit on Information Society, APC and other civil society organisations sent a letter to the President of the General Assembly calling for meaningful participation from non-governmental stakeholders in the review. Our letter includes specific recommendations to make the WSIS+10 open, participative and transparent. These recommendations come while the General Assembly is deliberating the roadmap for the overall WSIS+10 review. The goal of people-centred information societies can only be achieved through constant adherence to the principle of inclusive participation. This is why meaningful participation of all stakeholders is so important in the ten-year review and in furthering the WSIS vision beyond 2015.

9 June 2015

H.E. Mr. Sam Kahamba Kutesa
President of the United Nations General Assembly
United Nations Headquarters
First Avenue at 46th Street
New York, NY 10017 USA

cc: H.E. Ambassador Lana Nusseibeh, Permanent Mission of the United Arab Emirates to the United Nations – newyork@mofa.gov.ae , d_mcqueen@mofa.gov.ae and H.E. Ambassador Jānis Mažeiks, Permanent Mission of Latvia to the United Nations – mission.un-ny@mfa.gov.lv

World Summit on the Information Society Ten-year Review (WSIS+10)

Your Excellency,

We would like to congratulate you on your successful appointment of the two co-facilitators for the UN General Assembly High-Level Event on the World Summit on the Information Society Ten-year Review (WSIS+10).

We the undersigned are writing as civil society organisations that are deeply committed to the WSIS goal of a “people-centred, inclusive and development-oriented Information Society, where everyone can create, access, utilize and share information and knowledge, enabling individuals, communities and peoples to achieve their full potential in promoting their sustainable development and improving their quality of life, premised on the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and respecting fully and upholding the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”

The principles of inclusive participation that were embraced at WSIS are integral to the WSIS review process, and its legacy. The goal of people-centred information societies can only be achieved through constant adherence to those principles, through processes that engage all stakeholders.

We, therefore, would like to encourage you to ensure that the preparatory process and the High-Level Event embody the spirit of WSIS and take into account the progress and growing recognition of the importance of inclusive approaches to ICTs for development and internet governance that have been made since 2005.

Meaningful stakeholder inclusion is easier to achieve with an approach that goes beyond engaging the traditional stakeholder categories of government, business, civil society and the technical community. A comprehensive review process needs the input of all relevant government departments, researchers, a variety of engaged civil society organisations, community groups, the diverse range of actors involved in ICT and internet technical management and development, and small and large businesses. Particular attention needs to be paid to ensure that voices from developing countries are represented as strongly and widely as those from the developed world. Regional and national consultations would help to achieve this goal.

To ensure that stakeholder inclusion is meaningful, the modalities of the preparatory process should be open, participative and transparent. Good practices in this regard include considerable advance notice of opportunities to participate in person or contribute remotely, with such notice shared widely and accompanied by clear instructions on how to provide input, and information regarding the intended use of this input. This approach includes making full use of remote participation mechanisms and online platforms.

Additionally, we feel strongly that civil society, and other non-governmental stakeholders, should be allowed to select their own representatives to participate in the WSIS+10 High-Level Event and preparatory process. In this context, we would like to draw your attention to the 12 May 2015 “Call for an Open WSIS+10 Preparatory Process”, which we echo in many respects.

We request that you take the above suggestions into consideration as you develop the roadmap for the overall review.

Much still needs to be done to realise the WSIS goals and also to effectively integrate information society components in the post-2015 development agenda.

WSIS follow-up and implementation have involved multiple stakeholders to date, and will need to continue to do so in the future. This is why meaningful participation of all stakeholders is so important in the ten-year review and in furthering the WSIS vision beyond 2015. We look forward to working with you for a successful WSIS+10 event.

Please do not hesitate to approach us for any further information care of Ms Deborah Brown, APC WSIS+10 coordinator – deborah@apc.org .

Sincerely,

Signatories
Association for Progressive Communications (International member network – members listed below)
Access
Center for Democracy & Technology, United States
Center for Technology and Society, Rio de Janeiro Law School Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV), Brazil
Coding Rights, Brazil
Global Partners Digital, United Kingdom
ICT Watch, Indonesia
International Federation for Libraries Associations and Institutions (International member network)
Internet Democracy Project, India
Media Matters for Democracy, Pakistan
Media Foundation for West Africa, Ghana
Public Knowledge, United Statees

Members of the Association for Progressive Communications
Africa
Cameroon, PROTEGE QV
Congo, Republic of AZUR Développement
Egypt, ArabDev
Kenya, ALIN
Kenya, KICTANet
Nigeria, Fantsuam Foundation
South Africa, Women’sNet
South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania
Southern African NGO Network (SANGONeT)
South Africa, Southern Africa, Community Education Computer Society (CECS)
Uganda, Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET)
Uganda, Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA)

Asia/Pacific
Australia, Indonesia, EngageMedia
Bangladesh, BFES
Bangladesh, VOICE
Cambodia, Open Institute
India, Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF)
India, Society for Promotion of Alternative Computing and Employment (SPACE)
India, Bangladesh, Bytes for All, Bangladesh
Japan, Japan Computer Access for Empowerment (JCAFE)
Japan, JCA-NET
Pakistan, Bytes for All, Pakistan
Philippines, Foundation for Media Alternatives (FMA)
South Korea, Korean Progressive Network Jinbonet
Thailand, Thai Netizen Network

Europe
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Kosovo, OneWorld Platform for Southeast Europe Foundation (OWPSEE)
Bulgaria, South East Europe, BlueLink Information Network
Macedonia, Metamorphosis Foundation
Romania, StrawberryNet Foundation
Spain, Pangea
United Kingdom, GreenNet
United Kingdom, Kenya, Computer Aid International

Latin America & the Caribbean
Argentina, Nodo Tau
Brazil, Núcleo de Pesquisas, Estudos e Formação – Nupef
Chile, ONG Derechos Digitales
Colombia, Colnodo
Costa Rica, Cooperativa Sulá Batsú
Guatemala, Instituto DEMOS
Paraguay, Asociación Trinidad Comunicación, Cultura y Desarrollo
Venezuela, Fundación Escuela Latinoamericana de Redes – EsLaRed

North America
Canada, Web Networks – Member since 1987
Canada, eQualit.ie
Canada, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Marocco, Niger, Alternatives
United States, Institute for Global Communications (IGC)
United States, LaborNet
United States, May First/People Link

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