- February 25, 2003 - Members of the Global Unions group* today
accused the government planners of the Second Meeting of the Preparatory
Committee for the World Summit on the Information Society(WSIS)
of "stifling voices of dissent" after having excluded civil society
from the debate over the draft conclusions.
have voted to keep non-governmental groups and civil society activities
out of discussions now being held on a draft declaration and plan
of action for the summit which is due to be held in Geneva in
makes a mockery of the principles of democracy, inclusion and
open government on which policy for the information society should
be framed," said Aidan White, General Secretary of the International
Federation of Journalists (IFJ), which is part of Global Unions.
"People are rightly shocked that a conference which plans to shape
information policy for generations to come will have its agenda
decided behind closed doors."
of dissent is no answer to the challenge of open and honest discussion
about communications policy. The summit is supposed to be a tripartite
process bringing together voices from the community, from the
business world and from government, but now politicians have decided
to go it alone, raising the fear that all the talk about inclusion
was little more than window dressing.
is joining widespread protests over the exclusion of civil society
from the drafting process at this week's conference in Geneva
which is the second of three planned preparatory meetings to fix
the agenda before the summit opens in Geneva on December 10th.
which is being organised by a range of UN agencies led by the
International Telecommunications Union, will consider world-wide
policy and regulation issues arising from the introduction of
new communications technologies, use of the Internet and the expansion
of the global information market. A follow up conference is to
be held in Tunis in 2005.
"There is a
long way to go before policies are finalised," said White, "but
if governments are going to shut out public opinions from the
outset it will be a flawed and damaged exercises which will undermine
confidence in the future of the information society."
ICFTU to President of WSIS Preparatory Committee:
For more information
on Global Unions participation in the WSIS, see: http://www.global-unions.org/wsis
Unions group includes the ICFTU, the Global Union Federations(GUFs)
and the Trade Union Advisory Committee (TUAC) to the OECD; The
Global Union Federations comprise UNI, IFBWW, IUF, IMF, PSI, EI,
ITGLWF, IFJ, ITF, ICEM and IAEA.
represents 158 million workers in 231 affiliated organisations
in 150 countries and territories. ICFTU is also a member of
Global Unions: http://www.global-unions.org