02 / 1994
New Delhi, February 12, 1994
that the communication and information sector has become central in establishing the direction of social and political change at a global level;
that information and communications are dominated by corporate and military interests;
that the control of information represents a serious threat to democracy, cultural diversity, and the evolution of civil society;
and that an increasing number of people have come to recognise the considerable potential social and political benefits of the new technologies and are opposing the corporate and state control of information and communications,
we, the participants of the International Symposium on New Technologies and the Democratisation of Audiovisual Communication, convened by Videazimut and CENDIT in New Delhi on February 12, 1994, being media producers, users and distributors, communication researchers and teachers and representatives of many community-based and national organisations who have come from Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Canada, Denmark, France, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Palestine, the Philippines, Peru, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and the United States,
recognise and lend our support to the principles expressed by, among others, the UN Declaration on the Right to Development; the UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; the UN Declaration on Human Rights; the declarations of the MacBride Round Table; and the Quito Declaration.
We clearly observe that economic development in Asia and around the world is leading to less equal distribution of resources and wealth, and continues to exacerbate the rapid advance of ecological devastation.
We are witness to increasing monopolisation and commercialisation of information and the expansion of a global economy which has led to a subversion of democratic processes and reduced popular participation. The inability of a large part of humankind, particularly women and indigenous cultures, to exercise control has meant their subordination to global corporate and other vested interests.
In this context it is further apparent that as new technologies are introduced, human dignity is diminished.
We believe in the pressing need for global democracy, rather than a global supermarket, and affirm our unity in support of the following:
1. All peoples and individuals shall have the right to communicate freely, to utilise the tools of communication and to inform themselves and others.
2. Airwaves and satellite paths are a global people’s resource to be administered equitably, with a significant portion devoted to serving the public interest and for community use.
3. We oppose the militarisation of space and the exploitation of space for corporate interests. Any exploitation of airwaves, transmission channels and earth orbits should be subject to a public levy to be used to support local community expression, to facilitate non-commercial information exchange, and to contribute to equitable distribution of information technologies.
4. Communication and information technologies must be used to facilitate participatory democracy and the development of civil society, and not to limit democratic rights.
5. Information systems exhibit great potential for real popular participation and should be organised according to the principles of decentralisation in order to nurture and sustain cultural diversity and humanitarian values.
Individuals are not born consumers; information is not a commodity, but rather a utility to be shared.
The Symposium brought many people who have been creatively using new technologies from the simple video camera to computer networks and satellite transmissions to enhance democratic participation. Such examples show that it is possible and necessary to appropriate and liberate technology to defend ecological struggles, to empower the disenfranchised, to express cultural diversity, and to strengthen popular participation in genuinely democratic processes.
In this struggle, we align ourselves with the growing movement of local and international organisations who have spoken out in favour of democratic communication and lend our support to the principles expressed by them. They include, among others, Vidéazimut, CENDIT, Asian Media Alternatives (AMA), the Asian Mass Communication Research and Information Centre (AMIC), the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC), the World Association for Christian Communication (WACC), the MacBride Round Table, the Union for Democratic Communications, the Alliance for Community Media, the Telecommunication Policy Round Table and Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility.
Translated into French and Spanish.
Actas de coloquio, encuentro, seminario,…
Videazimut - 3680, rue Jeanne-Mance, bur.430 Montreal (Quebec) CANADA H2X 2K5 - Tél. (1 514)982 6660 - Fax (1 514)982 6122 - Canadá - videaz (@) web.net