First part of WSIS in Geneva
According to the United Nations, access to internet and telecommunication
in developing countries can help to combat poverty. A large-scale
summit was organised in Geneva from 10 to 12 December 2003 to bring
together numerous parties to discuss the infrastructure necessary
for this purpose. This World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)
was attended by government delegations, interest groups and representatives
of the business sector.
The theme of cultural diversity had top priority. New communication
technologies can both threaten and protect local cultures. These
are a threat because the technology also brings the culture of economically
dominant countries, including for example the English language.
But these also protect the local cultures because they can produce
local content. Photographs, texts and sounds from a specific culture
can be registered and dispersed.
The second part of the WSIS will be held in Tunis in November 2005.
Prior to the summit, the Council of Geneva hosted the prestigious
Local Content Cyber Festival. This was a two-day programme organised
by Cyberty.net, an organisation that promotes content diversity.
The presentations, panel discussions and workshops were all related
to the underlying theme of how ICT can be used for cultural development.
The participants, including scientists, journalists, artists and
telecom experts, came from all over the world. The conclusions of
the festival are only available in French at this time. The web
editor expects an English version to be on-line in January 2004.
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