08.10.2002 -

United Kingdom Commission for UNESCO proposes amendments to UNESCO's WSIS position paper

The UK Commission for UNESCO convened a workshop of civil society and professional representatives in August to discuss the document "UNESCO and the World Summit on the Information Society", which was the Organization's official input to the first meeting of the WSIS Preparatory Committee, in July 2002, in Geneva.

The participants made a number of recommendations; among these, that the following should be included in UNESCO's final position paper:


· A bold statement of the threat to sustainable development caused by the digital and information divides, and the moral imperative shared by all Member States to bridge these.


· A comprehensive mapping followed by systematic exploration of the implications for sustainable development.


· Comprehensive definitions for and consistent use of the terms: 'information', 'knowledge', 'the information society' and 'the knowledge society'.


· A focus on individuals and communities creating their own information solutions, rather than top-down, imposed approaches.


· A demand for demonstrable impact in the work of international organisations.


· Exploration of the information and information literacy needs of the full range of marginalized groups in society.


· A call for international organisations to promote interoperability of systems and open public access to public goods.


The UK UNESCO Commission Secretariat, part of the Education and Training Group of the British Council, works with civil society throughout the United Kingdom to enhance participation in UNESCO's programmes worldwide.

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