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THE INFORMATION SOCIETY AND ITS CITIZENS 2005 Deirdre Williams, CARDICIS 2, Juan Dolio, Dominican Republic, 5th December 2005 The sea separates but the sea also connects Yes: in the sea of life enisled, … We mortal millions live alone. The islands feel the enclasping flow, And then their endless bounds they know. To Marguerite Matthew Arnold Digital Divide: separates us but we can also use the digital to divide the barriers between us Globalization: seems to try to make us all the same but we can use it to create a community of diversity Information Technology Communication (Civil society) Communications Rights in the Information Society (CRIS) • a campaign to ensure that communication rights are central to the information society and to the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). • Our vision of the ‘Information Society’ is grounded in the Right to Communicate, as a means to enhance human rights and to strengthen the social, economic and cultural lives of people and communities. • We are not users of the information society, but citizens of it with the rights and obligations that citizenship permits and imposes. • The WSIS was supposed to be a tripartite summit, with governments, the private sector and civil society working together. The problem was, nobody knew what this should look like. UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions among other things: 19. Noting that while the processes of globalization, which have been facilitated by the rapid development of information and communication technologies, afford unprecedented conditions for enhanced interaction between cultures, also represent a challenge for cultural diversity, namely in view of risks of imbalances between rich and poor countries, endorses the right of States to define and conduct cultural policies ; initiates hope for a globalization more respectful of peoples' identities (President Chirac) Summary With the Convention on Cultural Diversity UNESCO has given us a legal claim on our own identity The CRIS campaign continues to fight for our right, as citizens of the information society, to communicate and build communities.