2004: Consolidation of the CRIS Campaign

2004-10-04 00:00:00

past few months, since our last update, have been busy for the CRIS
Campaign. A number of events across the globe, participation at WSIS,
the development of a new local CRIS website (Italy), a new strategy
for managing the global Crisinfo.org, and other substantive projects
– all provide evidence of the CRIS Campaign’s growth and
moving forward. [http://www.crisinfo.org/content/view/full/432]
CRIS Campaign took centre stage during the FSA in Ecuador (25-30
July). With five members reporting daily, updates on the events of
the Forum were accessible in real time at Crisinfo.org.
“Meeting for the Right to Communicate in the Americas”,
organized by ALAI, ALER, AMARC, APC, OCLACC, Radipaz, and WACC in
support of the CRIS Campaign opened on 26 July. The renowned French
author and communications theorist, Armand Mattelart, provided clear
insights on the core issues facing us in his keynote speech.
A series of fruitful debates followed and further activities at the
regional level are in the pipeline.

key outcome to these meetings was the declaration, “Another
Communication is Possible” which was the result of the two days
of discussions and exchanges during the Meeting. This is available in
English, Spanish and French.

is important to emphasize that the participation of CRIS members was
vital in advancing the discussion and debate around Communication
Rights in the LAC region and building linkages with the
communitarian, popular and alternative communication movement of
North America, mainly via the work being developed by CRIS members
and partners. [http://www.crisinfo.org/content/view/full/371/]

CRIS Campaign was represented at the fourth OURMedia conference
entitled “Building Communication Societies”
Five members reported daily on the events and news updates were
regularly posted at Crisinfo.org.
the outset, the event provided opportunities to be in contact
with local people involved in popular communication projects.
Further, a plenary session was dedicated to analyzing the importance
of communitarian media to democratize society.
a summing up of one of the plenary meetings, Nestor Busso (ALER)
highlighted that Public Policies of Communication are important to
guarantee Communication Rights for all.
Further input was provided by João Brant (CRIS Brazil) who
summarized the discussion on the media and ICT in the Social Forum of
the Americas during “Grassroots Media, World Social Forums, and
Social Movements: Strengthening Our Role”.
Cabrera-Balleza (Isis International-Manila & AMARC-Women’s
International Network) attended the Plenary Workshop, “Transnational
advocacy on media and ICT policy” during which participants who
had been active in the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)
raised a number of issues based on their experience, in particular:
the weakness of the Plan of Action and the need to reopen the
discussion around it; and the need to examine the networks that civil
society organizations engage in.

first Preparatory Meeting for the second phase of the World Summit on
the Information Society (WSIS) was held in Hammamet, Tunis (North
Africa) from 24 July to 1 August. The CRIS Campaign participated
actively and provided diary coverage submitted by two members: Jose
Luis Aguirre (Bolivia) and Arturo Bregaglio (Paraguay).
event counted the presence of 425 delegates representing 127
governments, 272 observers representing 113 civil society and private
sector organizations, and 71 observers from 33 international
cooperation organizations. The CRIS participants took part in both
meetings and debates (Governmental Meetings and the Civil Society
Caucus). [http://www.crisinfo.org/content/view/full/301/]
to both participants, the civil society work group was lacking in
coordination and operative representation. This became particularly
evident in light of difficulties in directing the plenary sessions
during which a confrontation emerged between local human rights NGOs
(Tunisian League of Defense of Human Rights and the International
Federation for Human Rights) and other NGOs that presumably represent
governmental interests.
accreditation process for civil society actors did not go smoothly.
Further, there were difficulties in achieving a greater presence of
non governmental organizations from other parts of Africa (in
particular West Africa) due to the poor support, high costs and great
distance – making their presence unviable. Another constraint
on participation was the need for translation into more languages.
Campaign Italy has updated and enriched its website with regional and
local documents. Take a look at: [http://www.cris-italia.info].

members of CRIS Italy, Jason Nardi and Claudia Padovani, have
recently edited a book entitled, "Communication Rights and
Access to Knowledge: The new frontier of rights in the knowledge
society". [http://www.crisinfo.org/content/view/full/403/]

Campaign launched this project in January 2004, funded by a grant
from the Ford Foundation. The goal of the project is to promote
understanding of communication rights through the development of a
‘framework of communication rights’ and to reform
governance in relation to them, especially (but not only) governance
of media and communication.

project develops toolkits and other support mechanisms for civil
society to respond to such change. It is being implemented by
national teams in Colombia, Brazil, the Philippines and Kenya, and in
the European Union by a team based in Italy.

reports on implementing the framework, are being drafted, all due for
completion by October; verification workshops are currently underway;
and an advocacy toolkit based on the priorities identified and
'localized' for each area will be developed by the end of the year.
The final framework reports and toolkits will be completed by March
2005, but the work will continue thereafter in the context of the
CRIS Campaign as a whole.

the aim of organizing and hosting a range of debates and activities
to feed into the social forum process during the European Social
Forum (ESF) to be held in London, UK (14-17 October 2004), CRIS has
teamed up with the Media, Culture and Communication Rights Network.
The network plans to contribute to the ESF which desperately lacked
any dimension on “Why are Communications Rights important
for the issues being discussed at the ESF?”
Debate on the topic is expected during the one-day European Forum on
Communication Rights, scheduled as a follow-up to the World Forum on
Communication Rights held at the World Summit on the Information
Society (WSIS) in Geneva, 2003. The objective is to initiate advocacy
and campaigning activities around communication rights issues at a
trans-European level. Further advocacy, network activities and
actions are planned for 15 October to foster greater cooperation
within the European region. If you want to get involved and find out
more, please go to: [http://www.efcr2004.net].
by Alejandra Davidziuk on the CRIS-Active
mailing list.