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United Nations23.09.2003

WSIS media and human rights caucuses protest exclusion of Reporters Without Borders

The human rights and media caucuses of groups represented at the World Summit on the Information Society announced on 19 September their support for Reporters Without Borders, which has been banned from the Summit.

The human rights and media caucuses of groups represented at the World Summit on the Information Society announced on 19 September their support for Reporters Without Borders, which has been banned from the Summit. Here is the joint communiqué put out by the two caucuses:

"The media and human rights in the information society caucuses, present in Geneva for PrepCom 3 of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) express their astonishment and consternation over the communication by the Executive Director of the Summit to Reporters Without Borders of the refusal to allow the press freedom organization to participate in this meeting and the Summit.

The procedural reason given should not override the principle at the core of the Summit : an Information and Communication Society should have as its basis the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, notably freedom of expression and freedom of the press.

We strongly urge the Summit’s Executive Secretariat to abrogate immediately its administrative decision to exclude Reporters Without Borders from the work of the WSIS.

Failing that, the image of the WSIS and of the UN system could only be tarnished as to their attachement to freedom of expression and its determination to include civil society in its deliberations".

The human rights and media caucuses. 18 September 2003.