Dear GKD Members,

I thought you would find this book of interest, given our past
discussions about the role of international organisations in promoting
access and effective use of ICTs to support development objectives.

Best regards,

Karen Higgs
APC WSIS Coordinator
Tel: +44 7712 553 582



GENEVA, SWITZERLAND, September 24 2003 - "There is little doubt that
access to information and communications technologies (ICTs) is
expanding, yet this process excludes the majority of people in
developing countries.  Many who do have access are unable to use it
freely to promote their social, economic and political interests. When
people gain access to these technologies, it is mostly as consumers,
rather than owners or creators.  The growing concentration of ownership
and control of ICT can limit its remarkable potential for social
empowerment," says APC in a new book launched last week at the third
preparatory conference (PrepCom) in the run-up to the first ever United
Nations world conference on the information society.

At the United Nations' World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS),
to be held in Geneva in December, governments will agree on a
declaration and action plan that could enhance or hinder access to ICTs
for the vast majority of the world's population. The Association for
Progressive Communications (APC) and the CRIS Campaign have been
following the WSIS process and their publication - "Involving Civil
Society in ICT Policy: the World Summit on the Information Society" -
highlights some of the principal issues at stake.

"The information society, we are told, is a promise to all the peoples
of the world of untold benefits and promises for our future however the
reality is often much closer to a nightmare," says CRIS Campaign
Coordinator, Myriam Horngren. "As our mass media become more and more
sanitised and commodified, our airspace sold to the highest bidders, our
common knowledge and creativity get fenced off, we fear that the
information society is solely promoting the expansion of corporate
control at people's expense."

Who is this book for?

This book is aimed at people who want to advocate for more just and
enabling policy environments. It is designed to build awareness of and
capacity to engage in ICT policy-making spaces at international,
regional and national levels, including the WSIS.

What does the book include?

Published in English, French and Spanish, the book includes a basic
orientation to the WSIS for non-governmental and non-commercial
participants as well as information about the CRIS campaign. It outlines
APC's perspectives on the WSIS which emerged from broad discussions and
consultations with APC members and other civil society groups from
Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.  It also includes the
views of the members of the APC Women's Networking Support Programme,
and draws on the collaborative work of CRIS and APC with other networks.
Key issues (including a reflection on the term 'information society',
intellectual property rights, and spectrum allocation) is covered by the
CRIS campaign.  A practical 12-page guide to organising a national ICT
policy consultation developed by APC accompanies the book.

Download your copy in English, Spanish or French from:


"Involving Civil Society in ICT Policy: the World Summit on the
Information Society" has been compiled by the Association of Progressive
Communications (APC) and the Campaign for Communication Rights in the
Information Society (CRIS). It is part of our combined efforts to ensure
that communication and internet rights are upheld and protected as
fundamental rights throughout the world.


APC: The Association for Progressive Communications is an international
network of civil society organisations whose mission is to empower and
support organisations, social movements and individuals in and through
the use of information and communication technologies for social
justice, development and environmental sustainability. APC's vision is
of a world in which all people have equal and affordable access to the
creative potential of ICTs to improve their lives and create more
democratic and egalitarian societies.  APC is a founding member of CRIS.

CRIS Campaign: Communications Rights in the Information Society (CRIS)
is an international campaign to ensure that communication rights are
central to the information society and to the upcoming World Summit to
the Information Society. The campaign is sponsored and supported by the
Platform for Communication Rights, a group of non-governmental
organisations involved in media and communication around the world. For additional information about CRIS activities during
the Summit itself, visit the World Forum on Communication Rights'
website: The Forum will take place
on December 11 in parallel to the WSIS.


Karen Banks
APC WSIS Coordinator
Tel: +44 7712 553 582

Myriam Horngren
CRIS Advocacy and Network Coordinator
Tel: +44 777 185 6091

Ms Banks and Horngren are currently attending WSIS PrepCom III and are
available for interviews.

Graphics available: contact [EMAIL PROTECTED]

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