Tuvalu News


Pacific Islands Regional Advisor banned from major World IT Meeting

Nov 4, 2005

At a preliminary meeting in Geneva preparing for the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) meeting next month, the Pacific Islands Regional Advisor on this major global initiative was last week excluded from observing proceedings.

"Two incidents this week have dampened spirit of civil society and private sector representatives," the advisor, Ms 'Apisake Soakai, told members of the Pacific Islands Chapter of the Internet Society (PICISOC) in an e-mail from Geneva last Tuesday.

"On Monday morning before session started members from the private sector were told to leave the room. On Tuesday afternoon civil society representatives were also told to leave the room because the negotiation session was a private meeting only for government delegations," Ms Soakai said.

"These incidents were embarrassing, humiliating and discouraging for individuals concerned, not to mention the organisation they represented," Ms Soakai said.

PICISOC explained that sending Ms Sokai to represent the Region at a lead-up meeting to the major WSIS summit was a very effective use of scarce finances as her reports were being widely circulated and studied by governments, the developing Pacific IT industry, and many NGOs.

Her exclusion denied the Pacific valuable information needed to prepare for the looming WSIS summit in Tunis in November, 2005.

PICISOC Chair Rajnesh Singh said that excluding Ms Sokai and other civil society representatives, particularly those from developing regions, from WSIS meetings was outrageous and a denial of the principles of transparency and good governance the WSIS process is supposed to facilitate.

"The WSIS and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the organiser, has claimed multi-stakeholder approach and transparency, but who are we kidding?" Mr Singh said.

"We are not requesting to be able to intervene at all sessions but at least to be able to know what is happening in a free and transparent process so that government delegations are fully briefed for the WSIS Tunis meeting.

"Is this the model that is been created for the 'Internet Forum' that the ITU through the WSIS process is trying desperately to promote?" Mr Singh said.

"The Pacific Islands Chapter of the Internet Society (PICISOC) certainly do not support any model where openness, transparency and good governance is not entrenched in its charter," Mr Singh said.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT

Rajnesh Singh, PICISOC Chairman, rajnesh.singh@gmail.com
Franck Martin, PICISOC Vice Chairman, franck.martin@gmail.com skype: franckhlmartin

BACKGROUND -

About PICISOC
PICISOC is an organisation encompassing 22 Pacific Islands Countries and Territories with a goal to promote "Internet for Everyone". As such, the board reflects this philosophy with people from 5 different countries and from the government and private sector.

PICISOC has over 350 individual members in the Pacific Islands representing also the diversity of this geographical area.

PICISOC web site is located at http://www.picisoc.org and is affiliated to the Internet Society (http://www.isoc.org) which is the organisation in charge of the Public Internet Registry (.org domain names), which also provides support and a legal framework to the Internet Engineering Task Force (http://www.ietf.org), the organisation in charge of making open Internet Standards.



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