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China fails to exclude HRIC from the UN World Summit on the Information Society

February 18, 2005

Despite China’s efforts to exclude HRIC from the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) PrepCom II that opened in Geneva yesterday, HRIC participated as an affiliate NGO member of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH).  HRIC presented on critical human rights issues in China and the information society at a briefing organized by the Human Rights Caucus, attended by over 125 NGOs, government officials and media. 

Due to concerns expressed by the Mission of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), HRIC was not on the list of NGOs recommended for accreditation to PrepCom II of the WSIS.  HRIC has been informed that the Mission of the PRC will be providing a note setting forth its concerns regarding HRIC’s accreditation application.  HRIC will then be afforded the opportunity to respond.

The adopted principles of the WSIS include building a “people-centered, inclusive, and development-oriented Information Society” based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  The WSIS accreditation guidelines require expertise in an area of concern to the work of the WSIS.  “For over fifteen years, HRIC has been working on the peaceful expansion of civil society, legal reform issues, and the uncensored flow of information, all areas relevant and of concern to the WSIS process.  Politicized attempts to exclude an independent and critical voice such as HRIC raises serious concerns about the inclusiveness, transparency and legitimacy of any multilateral process,” Hom stated. 

The WSIS Human Rights Caucus is facilitating a petition to support HRIC’s accreditation bid for PrepCom III and WSIS II, and to call for the transparent and non-politicized review of all NGO applications for accreditation.  Link to Petition