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The role of civil society during the WSIS process (was: Re: [ox-en] Fwd: [Wsis] World+dog fight over World Summit of The Information Society)

Hi Graham and all!

2 months (74 days) ago Graham Seaman wrote:
On Sun, 28 Sep 2003, Stefan Merten wrote:
Below is one of many similar opinions about the PrepCom III for the
WSIS. From what I learned from the German mailing list the chaos was
actually even bigger than outlined below.

I wonder whether this means something for the relation of states and
the like and the information society / Oekonux version.

Why? How is this different from Cancun?

I did not follow Cancun closely. Has the civil society been involved
there in the official process?

On one side the US and European
governments, International Chamber of Commerce, etc; on the other the rest
of the world plus NGOs; the opponents to the US side strong enough to
block outright imposition of the US wishes, but too divided/fragmented to
propose a clear alternative. And with the possibility that Bush has
decided to pull out of any international organization the US can't
dominate totally, and go for area or bilateral deals they control directly

As far as I understood this is one of the first summits where the
civil society has been / should have been included. And actually the
civil society organized quite well in preparation of the summit and as
far as I can see actually it created some far more substantial results
than the states. The states basically where caught in diplomacy making
and all kinds of contradictions whereas the civil society could
seemingly agree to some points.

However, though I appreciate the contributions of the civil society
members I think most of them operate more or less on the same stage as
the states do. The only thing which points in the direction of some
"information society (Oekonux version)" is the strong advocation for
Free Software and the like which, after all, was one of the more
prominent points in the civil society statements.

What specific oekonux connection is there in the situation?

Well, I meant "information society (Oekonux version)". What I had in
mind when I wrote that mail was the fact that the states start to
include civil society. And also as I heard that members of the state
factions of the delegations sometimes to the civil society members
said things like: "Good that you speak out on this or that. We would
like to but we can not."

Doesn't this point to the fact that states are more or less not able
to handle all this stuff any more? I mean is it really *only*
propaganda that they start to invite civil society to such events?
After all in the WSIS process more often than not the civil society
has been attested to make high quality contributions.

But of course all this does not match the way international
organizations or even nation states are used to operate. This and the
very fact that the states have severe contradictions among themselves
already is the fundamental reason for this type of chaos - and for the
little results.

This is why I think all this is part of the process of the
transformation of industrial society with its states to some
information society (Oekonux version) where I think states have no
much use any more or at least look quite differently from what we know

						Mit Freien Grüßen



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