Civil Society Statement on Information and Communication Solidarity

2003-09-25 00:00:00

Civil Society from the North joins Civil Society from the South in supporting a solidarity
approach to funding ICT actions and initiatives for global development.

We believe that an appropriate funding approach is one that links social solidarity to
digital solidarity, uses existing funding mechanisms more effectively and takes into
account the possibility of reducing debt.

Where the creation of a new fund is concerned, we believe that serious consideration
should be given to the following concerns:

1.Mechanisms for the distribution and implementation of such funds must be fully
transparent and accountable, and ensure that the funds will reach the people who
need them.

2.Fair rules for distributing international telecom charges based on solidarity must
be re-established.

3.Funding must not lead to further unequal trade relations and privatisation.

4.Contributions to any newly-established fund must reflect a multistakeholder
participation, providing contributions from governments and the private and
commercial sector as well as from citizens.

5.Funding mechanisms:

Should not be established under the simplistic notion that digital divides can be
breached mainly by addressing issues of infrastructure. They must be accompanied by
funding for education, applications, content, and dissemination.

Must address traditional and community media, not only the Internet.

must also be used to promote cultural and linguistic diversity.

must support technological sustainability, including the use and production of free
software and the fostering of user-centered technology development practices.