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<nettime> The most interesting WSIS document
cisler {AT} inreach.com on Fri, 5 Dec 2003 08:38:58 +0100 (CET)


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<nettime> The most interesting WSIS document


The "A" list excludes Princesses

One of the most interesting documents to come out of the World Summit on
the 
Information Society (WSIS) is not one of the many drafts of principles or
action plan for 
Tunis 2005 nor any of the manifestos, white papers, petitions, background
studies, or 
visionware (the latter refers to forecasts setting forth the world as it
might be: "all 
children will be using camera phones to construct their own learning
environment; 
every school will be connected to the Internet; every farmer will have
access to market 
prices; all government information will be...<and so on>").


The document in question is the draft list of participants who will be
admitted to some, 
not all, events in this carnival.  The 229 page document cautions "This
list does not 
include VVIPs (Heads of State, Heads of Government, Vice-Presidents, Crown 
Princes and Princesses)" but it contains a fascinating look at who has been
chosen to 
represent your nation at the summit.  More than half then entries are for
non-profits or 
NGO's which are said to constitute the Civil Society. The uncivil society
will be in 
Geneva; they will also be taking part but outside the highly guarded walls
of Geneva's 
Palexpo and other conference venues, and they are not on the list.  There
are also 
large numbers of UN  attendees from all the related divisions and
specialized 
agencies: ILO, UNIFEM, UNDP, etc, a few other international organizations
like the 
development banks, and then commercial firms. Here's the breakdown:

There are about 40-60  names per page.  

State representatives: 61 pages
UN and specialized agencies: 24 pages
Other Intl. organizations: 5 pages
NGOs: 122 pages
Business: 17 pages
Total: 229 pages

I know a few people who are attending, so I began looking at the country
lists.  The 
US has 53 delegates, all but one from government agencies. I found the
librarians 
and USAID employees I know. Most of the small nations have small
contingents--but 
not all.

No official reps. from North Korea, Somalia, Guinea, Sierra Leone.
LAO P.D.R. has one rep.
Maldives has two.
Timor has one
Tonga has two 
Malta has nine
Kyrgyzstan has 33 reps including two presidential photographers
Malaysia tops the list with 129.
Canada is close behind with 94 plus dozens more flying under the government-
funded IDRC banner.

There are some special organizations that have quasi-government status like 
Palestine (7)
Knights of Malta whose geographic domain is about 3 acres (1+ hectares) has
5 reps.
l'Agence intergouvernementale de la Francophonie: 35 (they promote French
culture 
and language in France and former colonies)

However, the long list of NGOs makes me wonder, "What do these groups do
from 
day to day?"  Some might ask that of the government reps too.

I can recognize some but many others are obscure. I found many
organizations 
providing a "flag of convenience"  for attendees from other foundations,
universities, 
the street who needed to have some official affiliation in order to take
part.  

A sampling of the NGOs:

Cameroon Assn. of Women Engineers
African Youth for Transparency  <againstcorruption {AT} hotmail.com>
Amitiť Pologne Congo
Amnesty International
ATTAC
APRIL - Association for Promotion and Research in Libre Computing
Article 19
Art-Law Foundation
Axe Formation
Benfam Institute of Natural Living (with 50+ 'reps' with Iranian surnames
sharing 
benfam_bind {AT} yahoo.com)  Anyone know what they do?
Forum of the Friends of the Net
Institute for Planetary Synthesis
International Possibilities Unlimited
Internet Society Wallonie
Les indigents et les avocats face aux procedures judiciaires devant la cour
supreme 
de justice
Molecular Diversity Preservation International
Oppressed Society Deliverance Organization
Temple of Understanding
Terre sans frontieres
Transnational Radical Party
Utmost Caring World

The largest delegation  of all was from the World Electronic Media Forum
with more 
than 550 attendees!

What was surprising was the small size of the business sector --Hitachi,
Alcatel, 
Cisco, Intl. Chamber of Commerce.   Microsoft was not represented but I'm
sure the 
World Bank was please to sponsor an African listed as

"Mr Jacques BONJAWO, Chairman Board of Directors, Microsoft"

So perhaps the influence of the business sector will not be that great if
they are this 
disinterested in the event. In any case, you can follow the action via
dailysummit.net, 
a web log sponsored by the British Council.

Steve Cisler
cisler {AT} pobox.com

Go here to search for someone by name, organization, or country:
http://www.itu.int/cgi-bin/htsh/wsis/evrs.finder.wsis03

You can also download the 564 Kb pdf file. Adobe web site has a tool if you
want to 
convert it to html. The  cached html version on Google did not display well
on my 
browser. Nigerian 419 authors and unsolicited electronic mail experts will
no doubt 
extract the names and emails from the document.  Look for some new and
exciting 
offers in your mailbox if you are on this list.


 

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