Non -Aligned Movement efforts for a Fair World Information Society

In the 1970s, in the post-colonial climate of the cold war, the non-aligned nations sparked a debate on a “new world information and communication order”, drawing attention to such questions as the inequalities in north-south information flow, the cultural bias of technology and the lack of communication infrastructure in the so-called third world. The thrust on balancing the digital divide and establishing a world information society has been a recurrent theme in successive NAM ministerial meetings and declarations.
NAM echoes the concern of the developing nations that present order of information, based as it is on a quasi-monopolistic concentration of power in the hands of a few developed nations, cannot meet the aspirations of the international community with its enormous need for better dialogue, carried out in respect and dignity. The growing importance of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in human societies is undoubtedly one of the defining features of our present–day world. ICTs have become incorporated into all levels of human organizational endeavors, and have had a large impact on the ways humans communicate. A major attempt to highlight the importance of information and communication issues is found in the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) was a pair of United Nations-sponsored conferences about information, communication and, in broad terms, the information society that took place in 2003 in Geneva and in 2005 in Tunis. One of its chief aims was to bridge the so-called global digital divide separating rich countries from poor countries by spreading access to the Internet in the developing world. The conferences also established 17 May as World Information Society Day.
The Non-Aligned Movement has stressed the importance of the contribution of the Non-Aligned Countries toward achieving the development oriented outcomes of the Summits, the Tunis commitment and the full implementation of the agenda for the Information Society, and urged UN Member States, relevant UN bodies and other intergovernmental organizations, as well as civil society, including non-governmental organizations and private sector in implementation of the outcomes. In the Tehran Declaration of 2012, NAM leaders reiterated their conviction that a people-centred, inclusive and development-oriented Information Society based on information and communication technology could contribute to the achievement of internationally agreed development goals, including those contained in the Millennium Declaration, and address new challenges faced by mankind.
The Non-Aligned Movement has reaffirmed that in order to transform the digital divide to digital opportunities, these activities should ensure the imperative of universal, inclusive and non-discriminatory access to information and knowledge related to ICT, and should result in supporting national efforts in developing countries in the area of building, improving and strengthening capacities to facilitate their genuine involvement in all aspects of the information society and knowledge economy.
NAM has encouraged all the States to contribute actively to ensure that the Information Society is founded on and stimulates respect for cultural identity, cultural and linguistic diversity, traditions and religions and ethical values. In the last decade, NAM Member states in their individual and collective capacity have taken a number of initiatives to achieve the objective of the World Information Society Summit and end the digital divide between the developed and developing nations. In 2008, Venezuela successfully hosted the 7th Conference of Ministers of Information of the Non-Aligned Countries (COMINAC-VII), held in Isla Margarita on 2-4 July. The substantive outcome document and Programme of Action adopted by the Conference and expressed the Movement’s resolve and commitment to implement the decisions and recommendations contained therein. Besides, NAM member states are also laying thrust on further strengthening the NAM News Network (NNN). NAM has strongly supported the efforts made to revitalize the Broadcasting Organizations of Non-Aligned Countries (BONAC), as an effective medium for transmitting factual news of events of the developing countries to the world. The movement has also taken note of the valuable experience of “The new south TV” (TELESUR) in this respect. As the most prominent collective voice of the global South, NAM is striving to promote a New World Information and Communication Order, based on universal, inclusive and non-discriminatory access to information and knowledge relating to ICT, as an essential requirement to reduce the growing digital divide between developed and developing countries.

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