The digital revolution in information and communication technologies has created the platform for a free flow of information, ideas and knowledge across the globe.
The Internet has become an important global resource, a resource that is critical to both the developed world as a business and social tool and the developing world as a passport to equitable participation, as well as economic, social and educational development.
In December 2003, the first phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) was held in Geneva to ensure that these benefits are accessible to all while promoting specific advantages in areas such as e-commerce, e-governance, e-health, education, literacy, cultural diversity, gender equality, sustainable development and environmental protection.
Also in December 2003, the Government of Canada and the Aboriginal Canada Portal and Connectivity Working Group, in cooperation with Indigenous peoples, the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and other UN Agencies, a number of member states and our Swiss and City of Geneva hosts, helped organize the Global Forum of Indigenous Peoples and the Information Society.
The Secretariat of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues prepared a report on the Global Forum of Indigenous Peoples and the Information Society, which is available (in English only) on the Aboriginal Canada Portal, at the following URL: http://www.aboriginalcanada.gc.ca/cac/international/discussion.nsf/fmenu_en.html?OpenForm
From these events came the WSIS Declaration and Plan of Action, as well as the Declaration and Plan of Action of the Global Forum of Indigenous Peoples and the Information Society. Together, these documents provide guidance to states, Indigenous peoples, UN agencies, non-governmental organizations, the private sector and academics interested in using new technologies to improve communications and the quality of life for Indigenous peoples around the world.
Article 15 of the WSIS Declaration states:
“In the evolution of the Information Society, particular attention must be given to the special situation of Indigenous peoples, as well as to the preservation of their heritage and their cultural legacy.”
In March 2005, the Government of Canada, the Aboriginal Canada Portal and Connectivity Working Group and the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues hosted the WSIS Indigenous Thematic Planning Conference for Tunisia. This was a global conference, with participants from each of the world's regions, as recognized by the UN Permanent Forum.
The purpose of the WSIS Indigenous Thematic Planning Conference for Tunisia was to explore opportunities for: bridging the digital divide between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples; the effective use of information and communication technologies by Indigenous peoples for sustainable development, poverty reduction, and other goals; and, for keeping the issue of connectivity front and centre on the international Indigenous agenda.
At the Tunisia phase of WSIS Indigenous delegates agreed to establish an Indigenous ICT Taskforce to continue the work of WSIS in particular the aspirations of the indigenous parallel event in Tunis called Indigenous Peoples and the Information Society: “Towards an International Indigenous Portal”
Indigenous connectivity should continue to be a focus for discussions at any number of international gatherings, including, but not limited to, the UN Permanent Forum, the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations, and the Summit of the Americas.
1. The mandate and work scope of the Indigenous ICT Task Force will be drawn out of the WSIS Declaration and Plan of Action, the Indigenous Declaration and Plan of Action flowing from the 2003 Global Forum of Indigenous Peoples and the Information Society, the articulation of challenges and the path forward contained in the report of the WSIS Indigenous Thematic Planning Conference for Tunisia (2005), and indigenous specific reports from the Tunis phase of WSIS.
2. The Indigneous ICT Task Force will work with States at the Government Department level on mutual ICT outcomes.
3. The Indigenous ICT Task Force will actively seek partnerships with NGOs, Government Departments, UN agencies and indigenous organizations to work on common projects.
Indigenous participation in the Indigenous ICT Task Force will consist of four (4) members from each of the world regions as recognized by the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues for a total of twenty-eight (28) members, as follows:
o North America
o Central/South America and Caribbean
o Former USSR and Eastern Europe
Indigenous participation in the Indigenous ICT Task Force will consist of four (4) members from each of the world regions as recognized by the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues for a total of twenty-eight (28) members.
The Indigenous ICT Task Force will continue to form partnerships and collaborations between government departments, indigenous peoples, United Nations agencies, NGOs, the academic community and the private sector in relation to meeting the indigenous outcomes of WSIS.
The current objectives of the Indigenous ICT Task Force are to:
o Continue the Tunis work of developing an international indigenous portal and the Tunis e-strategy
o Host a Global Indigenous ICT Forum not later that November 2007
o Promote international development of multi-stakeholder national and international Indigenous partnerships sites and working groups
This project has been submitted to the Golden Book database
Grandes orientations du SMSI qui ont un rapport avec cette activité : Thème 4. Le renforcement des capacités
Thème 7. Les applications TIC et leur apport dans tous les domaines
Thème 8. Diversité et identité culturelles, diversité linguistique et contenus locaux
Thème 10. Dimensions éthiques de la société de l'information
Thème 11. Coopération internationale et régionale