after WSIS … education, academia and research

Linked to our presentation of Taskforce on Education, Academia and Research on January 28, 2006.

Linked to our presentation of Divina Frau-Meigs – France on January 29, 2006.

Divina Frau-Meigs, (WSIS-) Taskforce for education, academia and research, writes:

In my Catalan country, there is a proverb that says « Don’t pull the rug from under your own feet, there are plenty of people out there ready to do so ».

I followed the debates on the list concerning the Civil Society Bureau and I wonder why after all these years of fighting to obtain a multi stakeholder – partnership, we are undermining ourselves so inconsiderately.

1) The Nation-states do not ask us to do so, and they remain organized around the process (the presidency of the ECOSOC for Tunisia is proof, if need be). The CCBI does not move on its positions and remains mobilized. Why should we do less than them?? Why would we pull the rug from under our own feet ??

2) We demonstrated that we could participate in this so-called ³governance² process, and even make constructive and influential propositions. By this fact, we showed to the other actors that we could manage power. Are we still afraid of power, the one that we have acquired this time, not that of the others? It is not at this stage that we are going to entrust ourselves blindly to a ³troika² or to wait passively that a ³leader² appears. Are these the only alternatives we can think of ? That’s a political fairy tale and a mockery of participatory democratic process ? What are we waiting for: a man on a white horse ?

3) The Civil Society Bureau is our only concrete diplomatic experience and gain. It is the only interlocutor recognized by the States. It serves as liaison for a number of coordination decisions. It’s not perfect, so let’s improve it. Its rules and procedures have already been cleaned up : there is a charter, criteria, ‹ all of them approved and voted in plenary. Why go
without it? Let those who do not want to be part of it anymore withdraw and pass the relay to others. Let new energies come in, here is the solution, not self-destruction.

All the more so as urgent decisions are coming up. As of February, we are going to need to watch the constitution of the Internet Governance forum as well as the establishment of the ECOSOC commission. Working groups and families need to remain mobilized on the implementation of the thematic lines. Each of our entities can find to eat in the feast of the Societies for shared knowledge. There is work for all and it is out of the question to leave decisions of such order to just anybody.

I call on everybody to stay mobilized, with all entities, formal and informal, including the Civil Society Bureau. I call on those who proposed otherwise to reconsider their decision and to stay within our ranks. Let us remain united in our variety and let us redeploy the rug under our feet!

See WSIS Education Family-Taskforce on Education;

and Edu mailing list.

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