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N E W S

UNESCO GRANTS THE INTERNET SOCIETY NGO OPERATIONAL RELATIONS STATUS

December 1, 2000
WASHINGTON, DC -- The Internet Society (ISOC) is pleased to announce that it has been officially recognized as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in operational relations with the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

"Entering into operational relations with UNESCO as an NGO helps globalize and extend ISOC's principal objectives by means of a international organization expressly set up to work towards the goal of achieving 'information access for all' worldwide. We are very pleased and look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with UNESCO," stated Brian Carpenter, Chairman of ISOC.

ISOC and its Internet Societal Task Force (ISTF) will work closely with the UNESCO sector of Information and Informatics, particularly with the organization's Information Society and Communication Development Divisions.

The mission of the UNESCO sector of Information and Informatics is to help UNESCO's Member States, particularly developing countries, and disadvantaged communities worldwide to strengthen their capacities in communication, information and informatics. Christine Maxwell, ISOC Trustee and the Society's UNESCO Liaison Officer, said that "ISTF's mission is very closely allied with that of UNESCO's divisions named here. We are already examining together the key areas in which to focus our cooperative efforts."

With more than 60 Chapters throughout the world and another 60 currently in formation, ISOC has broad and deep access to Internet expertise on both technical and societal issues in both developing and developed countries.

Partnership with UNESCO also serves to enhance the Internet Society's collaboration with other NGOs active in a wide range of sectors. These relationships will serve to increase awareness of the implications of information technologies for societal change.

The first discussion paper prepared by ISOC for UNESCO, "Global Trends that Will Impact Universal Access to Information Resources", was presented by Christine Maxwell at UNESCO's INFO/ETHICS 2000 Conference - Right to Universal Access to Information in the 21st Century.