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December 11, 2003Giving ICT a human face. Civil Society today delivered a counter-declaration to the World Summit, so Daily Summit talked to some leading civil society members about what they are unhappy about and why.
"Yes, WSIS has come up with certain things, but we are suspicious that a plan of action may not be able to match up our expectations," Kay Raseroka told us. "We also fear that at the end of the day market values are going to be imposed on people and this will definitely be a different kind of imperialism of ICT. This we can already see with the cell phone."
Chair of the Civil Society Coalition (CSC), Raseroka doubles as the president of the International Federation of Library Association and Institutions. "Civil society was forced to make its declaration because human issues have been left out at the summit. This is about linking people. It is the people's right to information that now seems to be surpassed by pipes and cables and all the stuff. We strongly feel that what UNESCO is trying to do is not enough."
The problem is money: "Implementation of any plan of action starts with money . Find out how much money is being put into this plan. That's a critical issues we are standing up for now."
In the same vein, USLA secretary-general Ross Shimmon said: "Look, there is too much emphasis on technology and not enough on contacts. We have discovered that some governments are more interested in controlling their population, than democratising it. We want this whole process to be more people-oriented."