24 October 2005


Support sought for Citizens' Summit on the Information Society

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(AMARC/IFEX) - The following is a press release circulated by AMARC on behalf of the Citizens' Summit on the Information Society:


Citizens' Summit on the Information Society (CSIS)
Tunis, November 16-18, 2005
First announcement and call for support
CSIS Press release - October 24, 2005

A Citizens' Summit on the Information Society (CSIS) will be held in Tunis, on November 16-18, 2005, coinciding with the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS).

The CSIS will be another milestone in the long tradition of UN conferences and Summits being complemented with events organized by citizen groups. Previous such events met with great success, for example during the Cairo Conference on Population and Development (1994), the Beijing Conference on Women (1995) or the Monterrey Summit on Financing for Development (2002).

The CSIS objectives are twofold:
- To send a strong message of support and solidarity from international civil society to the local civil society and citizens;
- To address the main issues being debated at the WSIS, from the perspective of citizen groups and the public.

Based on earlier precedents, this event will offer an excellent opportunity to promote the Information Society and the basic principles on which it must be based, as articulated in the first phase of the World Summit on the Information, namely: human rights and social justice.

Invitation and Call for support:
Citizen groups, Civil society organizations, National, Regional and International Institutions, Government Delegations, and all other interested parties and individuals are invited to participate in the Citizen's Summit on the Information Society. All are strongly encouraged to express their support for and solidarity with the CSIS by, e.g.:
- Signing-on as a supporter,
- Offering a donation,
- Proposing a contribution to the CSIS program,
- Reading a statement of support to CSIS, in a WSIS parallel event they may organize
- Disseminating CSIS news through websites and mailing lists,
- Or any other means of support they may suggest.

Practical information:
The Citizen's Summit on the Information Society will begin on November 16th at 16:00, with an opening ceremony, continue all day on November 17th, with the closing session on November 18th morning. The CSIS program will consist of a series of panels and conferences addressing main WSIS issues from the public perspective.

The detailed program and practical information will be circulated by early November, together with a list of CSIS supporters.

First list of CSIS organizers and supporters:
AMARC (World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters), ANND (Arab NGO Network for Development), APC (Association for Progressive Communications), ARTICLE 19 (Global Campaign for Free Expression), CJFE (Canadian Journalists for Free Expression), Comunica-ch (WSIS Swiss Civil Society Coalition), CPSR (Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility), CRIS Campaign (Communication Rights in the Information Society), FIDH (International Federation of Human Rights Leagues), FrontLine (International Foundation for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders), HR Caucus (WSIS Civil Society Human Rights Caucus) HRW (Human Rights Watch), ICHRDD (Rights and Democracy), Index on Censorship, IteM (Instituto del Tercer Mundo), Norwegian PEN, OMCT (World Organization against Torture), WAN (World Association of Newspapers), WPFC (World Press Freedom Committee), in coordination with independent Tunisian civil society organizations.

CSIS International Organizing Committee:
Pablo Accuosto, Karen Banks, Roberto Bissio, Steve Buckley, Rikke Frank Jørgensen, Wolf Ludwig, Antoine Madelin, Meryem Marzouki, Seán Ó Siochrú, Chantal Peyer, in coordination with independent Tunisian civil society organization representatives.

Expressions of support: support@citizens-summit.org
Press enquiries: press@citizens-summit.org
General contact, questions: contact@citizens-summit.org

Website: http://www.citizens-summit.org


World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters
705, rue Bourget, bureau 100
Montreal, Quebec H4C 2M6
secgen (@) si.amarc.org
Fax:+1 514 849 7129
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