Press Release of Civil Society Declaration at the World Summit on the Information Society
Civil Society Launches its Declaration at the World Summit on the Information Society
Geneva, 11th December 2003
Civil Society organizations, with a wide diversity of backgrounds and expertise, have been working inside the Summit process to shape a people-centred, inclusive and equitable concept of what we call “information and communication societies”.
This is the first time that civil society has been formally included as a partner within a United Nations Summit. As the process unfolded, civil society representatives and their concerns and ideas were repeatedly excluded by governments from working groups and plenaries leading to their declaration, “Building the Information Society”.
On December 8, the Civil Society Plenary of the WSIS unanimously adopted “Shaping Information Societies for Human Needs: Civil Society Declaration to the World Summit on the Information Society.”
This declaration represents the culmination of two years of worldwide consultation among civil society, to arrive at a common vision, and identify core principles and challenges. This is our yardstick by which we will measure actions taken by governments, the private sector and ourselves, Civil Society, from this WSIS to the follow-up Summit in two years.
At the heart of our vision of information and communication societies is the human being. While technologies are fundamental means of development, they must not become ends in themselves.
The declaration explores human rights, development and social justice under the new conditions of information and communication technology, and adresses the danger of widening social gaps, inequalities and threats to existing freedoms.
Whereas the governments hesitated to reaffirm long agreed-upon human rights standards in their Declaration, the Civil Society Declaration develops ideas and strategies on how to realise, fulfill and bring forward the development and human rights of all people from a social justice focus.
For more information contact
- Sally Burch (022 747 0202) or
- William McIver (email@example.com / +41 22 732-4423 / fax +41 22 732-7620)
- the civil society offices.