How are we to avoid new disparities in the development of knowledge societies? How are we to ensure that everybody can enjoy freedom of expression through the Internet and new media? How are we to ensure principles of mutual respect and the observance of human rights on-line?
These are just some of the questions a two day workshop and consultation for OECS stakeholders being hosted by the St. Kitts and Nevis UNESCO Secretariat is hoping to develop awareness of and answers to.
The increasing exposure of Caribbean youth to the ill effects and the negative use of the Internet, from activities such as cyber-bullying, sexting etc, has led the St. Kitts and Nevis UNESCO Secretariat, to host the workshop, which will be attended by youths from St. Kitts and Nevis and ICT Professionals from the sub-region.
The St. Kitts Marriott Resort will be the venue for the two day OECS Workshop and Consultation on the Ethical Dimensions of the Information Society, which will engage local and regional delegates to the challenges and risks presented by the inappropriate use of the internet. Presentations and panel discussions will be led by regional and international professionals in the field.
We spoke with Mr. Antionio Maynard Secretary General for UNESCO St. Kitts and Nevis and Mr. Pierre Bowrin Government ICT Policy Adviser, to get a better understanding of why such a session was thought necessary.
Mr. Bowrin, indicated that by hosting the workshop, it was hoped that many of the issues confronting parents, teachers and youths with respect to the adverse or negative uses of the internet would be discussed and solutions offered.
Mr. Maynard said the local office was keen to be hosting such an event and had been collaborating with UNESCO headquarters to secure the speakers with the necessary expertise and who would be able to shed light on the challenges and offer some solutions. He also indicated that delegates from across the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) have confirmed their participation in the event slated for the 23rd and 24th of this month.