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REPORT ON THE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE “NEW SCENARIOS OF POLITICAL COMMUNICATION IN THE DIGITAL SPHERE-2015”

The Chair of the International Conference on “New Scenarios of Political Communication in the Digital Sphere-2015”, held from June 5th to 7th in the Conference Center of Havana, welcomes the intensive and interesting discussions that took place between more than one hundred official delegates and experts from 34 countries and international organizations. 
 
During these three days key topics that concern all States have been discussed such as the use of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT), for the human, political, economic, social and cultural development of our societies; the technological sovereignty of nations, cybersecurity, and Internet governance, as well as other problems related to these topics.
 
The ideas discussed and the national experiences that have been shared here constitute concrete recommendations for the participating countries, various organizations and the regional integration processes. We expect that they turn into a substantial contribution to the review of the ten-year history of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS).
 
In that regard, we believe that:
 
-       It is indispensable to have greater regional and international consensus and a more efficient performance of all States in order to build a more just, equitable and socially inclusive Information and Knowledge Society. 
 
-       It is necessary to continue struggling for the elimination of the obstacles developing countries are faced with. The exercise of the fundamental rights to health, education and life are still chimeras for millions of people in the whole world. Challenges such as these cannot be viewed in isolation from those arising from the development of ICT and their global use. Both groups of challenges must be harmonized in terms of the efforts and responsibility of States. 
 
-       We are convinced that the digital divide is an issue that should not be postponed and is not more than the reflection of the increasing economic, political and social inequalities. We warn about the dangerous tendency to assess the digital divide only taking into account the number of technologies instead of their use according to the needs of each country. 
 
-       ICT development has become a cornerstone for the security of States. This must be interpreted from the sociocultural perspectives, distant from the strictly instrumental views, conceived as a strategic practice that would go with as well as direct political processes in their broadest sense. 
 
-       ICT do not solve per se none of the problems countries are faced with, they must be a tool instead of the aim. That is why it is necessary to promote a new ethical and transparent form of communication and education concerning the use of ICT, by means of strategies that motivate the new generations to develop a proactive approach and a critical understanding of reality. 
 
-       It is necessary to work in order to promote the firm commitment of educational systems to the teaching of communication, computer science, and the Internet, using new pedagogical methods such as those of popular education,  as well as the regional and international cooperation in this field. 
 
-       ICT must be used to increase the knowledge capacity of peoples and develop their human capital. It is highly risky to use them for harmful purposes rather than for the sake of the economic, cultural and political sustainability of nations. 
 
-       The resources allocated to the military sector should be used in the development of the computerization of societies and in the interest of each country’s progress.
 
-       ICT should be taken into account substantially and incidentally as part of the most important development goals and objectives and should be better reflected in the Post-2015 Development Agenda. 
 
-    It is necessary to work for the generation of one’s own contents, which offers great opportunities for the promotion of all countries’ cultural heritage and the exchange among them.     
 
-       Civil society must participate in the decision-making process concerning these issues and must contribute to the design of research projects for the defense of technological sovereignty and collaboration platforms for the development and production of the region’s own contents. 
 
-       It is necessary to adopt concrete, effective and urgent cooperation measures to counteract the growing militarization of cyberspace and the undercover and unlawful use of computer systems to attack other States. These measures must be consistent with the social policies, principles and regulations agreed upon at the national and international levels. 
 
-       The strengthening of international cooperation is required to struggle against the harmful uses of the Internet in particular, cyberterrorism, cybercrime, xenophobia, and racism, among other trends. 
 
-       It is imperative to respect sovereignty in the cyberspace, and to oppose its hegemony, particularly by abandoning double-standard policies on cyberspace security. 
 
-       It is imperative to work together so that the Internet becomes a zone of peace and prosperity and so that these issues are discussed extensively in the context of the United Nations. 
 
-       We must strongly condemn the unilateral measures against the States that prevent universal access to the benefits offered by ICT, which is contrary to international law. 
 
-       We express our concern about the nearly complete inexistence of international regulations on the Internet and cybersecurity, which has very harmful collateral effects on the purpose of attaining a peaceful and development-oriented use of ICT. We encourage the preparation of an international code of conduct, that should be approved and recognized by the States. 
 
-       It is necessary to denounce and to work in order to avoid the use of ICT for subversive, political, military and criminal purposes such as the theft or hijacking of information in the cyberspace. 
 
-       It is necessary to train the peoples technically and scientifically and to raise their awareness of the risks in terms of cybersecurity. 
 
-       Cybersecurity cannot be considered only from a technocratic perspective, as if it were the exclusive territory of wires and computers.  The reaffirmation of a decolonizing thinking, through the generation of our own cultural production in the web, is more important than the development and control of our infrastructures. 
 
-       The cyberspace and access to the Internet must be regarded as strategic resources and common assets of the whole human kind. 
 
-       It is indispensable to speed up the discussion on Internet governance, which is one of the topics on which less progress has been made after the World Summit on the Information Society. 
 
-       Therefore, we reiterate that the Internet must have an international, democratic and participatory governance, based on the UN Charter, international law and multilateralism. 
 
-       It is recommendable to achieve a greater participation of States in the management of the Internet, to design global policies, to guarantee the stable, sustained and safe functioning of the Internet on the basis of international law, and to increase the level of coordination between international institutions. 
 
-       It is necessary to foster a greater cooperation in the area of information and communications technologies between all countries, on equal terms. 
 
-       It is necessary to foster the management of the Internet critical resources in a cooperative manner and free from the control of monopolies. We must have an exchange on the best practices and alternatives for regional and international cooperation in order to promote the creation of root servers, the use of free software and a sovereign fiber. 
 
-       It is indispensable to establish intergovernmental agreements in order to guarantee Internet security and achieve a peaceful, safe, open and cooperative cyberspace.
 
-       It is imperative that States invest in the broadband, and strengthen their cooperation in the context of all the collaborative mechanisms they belong to, in terms of connectivity and the generation of contents of their own to counteract the hegemonic influences. 
 
-      The technological and operational sovereignty of all nations must be guaranteed at the international level.
 
-       We confirm the need to create an international Internet security system that implies, among other things, the urgency to assess a new Internet architecture. 
 
-       We reiterate that the agreements of the World Summit on the Information Society that have not been implemented must be ratified. 
 
In keeping with the spirit of the recommendations set out in this Report, as well as in conformity with the proposals made repeatedly in the conference, the Chair of the International Conference on New Scenarios of Political Communication in the Digital Sphere-2015 will send this text to the United Nations General Secretariat as an effective contribution to the follow-up to the agreements of the World Summit on the Information Society, as well as other regional integration organizations. 
 

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