Civil Society Intervention at the Regional Conference

Regional Preparatory Ministerial Conference of Latin America and the
Caribbean for the second phase of the World Summit on the Information
Civil society organizations intervention
June 08, 2005
Mr. President.
Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. My name is Dafne Sabanes Plou and I am
addressing you in the name of the signatory civil society organizations which
consider that:
The strategies and action plans for the information society of the region must find
their reference framework in the human rights of all people, the public interest,
empowerment from a gender perspective, race and ethnicity as well as the
millennium development goals.
In this sense, we emphasize the need to approach the information society from a
perspective that transcends technological aspects and strategically incorporates
aspects related to work, education, health and capacity building, generation of
local content, community communication and all those that guarantee a dignified
life for citizens in just and egalitarian societies.
To deepen democracy and strengthen citizenship in our countries, it is strategic to
conceive the communication network and the physical means that enable it, as
public goods.
The regional eLAC2007 Action Plan should propose concrete, viable and effective
multisectoral mechanisms to empower citizens to benefit their active democratic
participation in the decision making processes that affect their development.
The goals should incorporate gender as a priority aspect in the construction of an
inclusive and just information society, and as an eLAC2007 cross-cutting issue.
Next, we highlight the features we consider to be priorities in the construction of
eLAC2007 and the level commitment of the parties interested in its implementation.
1. Citizen’s participation in the definition of public policy and national information
society strategies.
We support the goal D20.2 of the Action Plan and emphasize the need to draw
attention to the importance of considering the complete participation of civil society
in the formulation, implementation and evaluation of public policy. We advocate for
regulatory frameworks that ensure equity, guarantee diversity, and access to equal
opportunities and non discriminatory access to any type of technological support
needed to develop communications.
2. Democratize access to information and knowledge
We echo goal C19 and propose to include the importance of the access to public
domain information, including that which is State-controlled. We emphasize the
need to support communication media and local community networks and
encourage projects that combine the use of traditional community media and new
technologies at the local level, and supporting sustainable and solidarity-oriented
models of globalization.
3. Generation and distribution of local information and content.
We advocate for the strengthening of national and regional strategies to
disseminate and produce local content that promotes knowledge management and
reflects cultural diversity. In relation to goal B11, we request that the group works
a regional position with an eye on the Convention on Cultural Diversity that is being
discussed within the UNESCO’s scope.
4. Adoption and production of appropriate technological platforms
We agree with goal B7.1. In relation to goal B7.2, we consider it essential for the
group to analyze, as a part of its mandate, the relationship between the adoption of
free software, overcoming the technological dependence and its impact on the
development of countries in the region.
5. Financing ICT for development
Financing for ICTs must be based on the consideration of information and
communication as global public goods. We request that goal D21 generates income
for the adoption of public financing mechanisms for ICT for development in areas
not served by the market.
To conclude, we would like to mention that our civil society organizations are
committed to the promotion and defense of the rights to communicate – that we
consider, include but do not limit the right to information and freedom of
expression- as a basis to exercise of other fundamental human rights and essential
conditions for egalitarian and democratic information societies. We call on the
governments in the region to ensure the necessary conditions for the full
enforcement of those rights.
Thank you, Mr. President.
Signatory organizations:
Cris México
Geledés – Instituto da Mulher Negra
Articulaçao de Ongs de Mulheres Negras Brasileiras
Articulaçao CRIS Brasil
WSIS Gender Caucus
Association for Progressive Communications
Nodo Tau
APC Women's Networking Support Programme
LAC ICT Policy Monitor (Monitor de Políticas de TIC en LAC)
RITS – Rede de Informaçoes Para o Terceiro Setor
TRADUCCIÓN: Association for Progressive Communications, APC.