Conferences could be shared by all apc networks, with updates distributed several times a day. In addition to summit-specific conferences, there were also hundreds of existing apc conferences related to environment and development issues that provided unique repositories of high-quality information. Private electronic mail was also used extensively. Mail lists, fully integrated with many of the conferences, were set up for extending communication to those who were not apc users. At the summit itself, computers pre-configured with apc system software became the main servers for dozens of computers and terminals linked in an on-site lan, eventually serving over a thousand ngos. The supplementary services: network promotion, training, and user support.
World Summit on Sustainable development — global
Janos Pasztor, Information Systems coordinator, unced secretariat. Discussion, in looking for the reasons for apcs un summit success, three distinct, but inter-related, factors stand out: the technical infrastructure, the supplementary services of support, training and promotion, and apcs internal communications. The technical infrastructure, the foundation of the apc was the technical infrastructure it provided for ngos. Obtaining dial-up connections and online accounts for e-mail and computer conferencing through apc enabled regional groups to communicate more effectively with their peers internationally. This was due to the relatively low friend cost and rapidity of message transmission, and the ability to have asynchronous, multiple party interactions within online group forums, which were far cheaper to implement than either telephone conference calls or face-to-face meetings. The United Nations chose apc primarily because it offered the most effective venue for distributing official documentation to ngos globally. This was especially true for those apc members and partners operating in poorer countries, in which inadequate mail and telephone infrastructures made traditional information dissemination very slow, unreliable, and prohibitively problems expensive. In several cases apc assisted southern ngos in setting up local systems, thereby offering public electronic communications in some countries for the very first time. These efforts helped widen online interaction in global civil society. The primary online tool for group communications was computer conferencing.
According to susanne sallin, author of a 1994 research report on apc, as a result of the conference, there has been continued involvement online in environmental policy issue-areas from a diversity of groups. The apc networks have made communication and organizing around specific issue-areas easier for many environmental advocacy groups. The scale of these operations was such that the level of involvement by ngos would have been much more difficult, if not impossible, without the communication facilitation provided by apc. The following" is indicative of many received. The apc networks delivered a tremendous job. With their full cooperation, it was possible to reach a very large, and important environment-development community worldwide in a timely, and cost- effective fashion. Without this communication channel, the involvement of non-governmental organizations in the official unced process, as well as in the various parallel processes simply could not have been as effective as they were.
Two years prior to the conference, the un began working with the apc to disseminate official summit information to ngos (Information Habitat, 1990). Backgrounders to the issues, draft policies, country briefings, and logistical bulletins were posted by the un to a set of computer conferences shared internationally on all apc networks. This allowed several thousand civil society groups around the world to be kept informed at very little cost to the. During the 10 days of the summit, an apc contingent of technical and support staff set up two communications centres, one providing service at the official un site, the other at the ngo global Forum, the alternative summit, across town. Apc made all its services, including promotion, training and information facilitation, available at no charge to the participants. These facilities allowed groups to be in daily contact with their colleagues attending the conference, as well as with those back home and around the world, making it much easier to evaluate the official governmental declarations and to create and air alternative views. This resulted in modifications to resolutions on the basis of contributions from concerned activists from around the world who were unable to attend in person. Following the summit, active on-line discussions continued, aided by the electronic public dissemination of all official un documents and their ngo counterparts.
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However, to mount large projects, such as for many un summit activities, apc members often seek funding from foundations and foreign aid agencies. Apc members and partners gilman in 1995 apc_networks_1995: apc networks in 1995, fig. 1 Map showing apc members (red) and partners (yellow) in 1995. Apc networks are decentralized, autonomous, and cooperative. Besides member networks, there have been dozens of partner networks, mostly in developing nations, linked to apc hosts for e-mail and news feeds. Collectively, apc networks support tens of thousands of social change organizations, making it the largest integrated, private online system for non-profit usage in the world. Though individual circumstances may vary, most apc networks provide a wide range of services, including dial-up access, e-mail, computer conferencing, online databases, and website development and hosting.
Apcs role in the un summits: the case of the earth Summit. The 1992 un conference on Environment and development (unced, also known as the earth Summit) was an historic event, having brought together the largest number of heads of state, as well as being the single largest gathering of ngos and citizen activists to date. The ngo community had been rapidly growing over the years, with national citizen movements in the areas of environment, peace, social justice and human rights, giving rise to a multitude of transnational advocacy networks (Keck and sikkink, 1998). Ngos were becoming an important component of policy creation and implementation, and the earth Summit became the first un-sponsored forum in which ngos were given official status to make presentations. An overview of the role apc played in unced serves to illustrate the general format of assistance given by apc at each subsequent un summit.
Sonia guajajara, from the Articulation of Indigenous peoples of Brazil (apib told the ips at the people's Summit: "Native peoples know perfectly well what sustainable development involves. Our harmonious coexistence with nature is a living portrayal of our way of life, which neither destroys nor degrades." Perhaps we should stop looking for 'The future we want' inside concrete conference pavillions, like riocentro, but outside of them - and closer to home. Follow: Twitter / Facebook / google / Pinterest / More politics News). By rory obrien and Andrew Clement. This paper provides an historical overview of one of the largest organized uses of digital communications tools within civil society, that of facilitating information sharing and coordination among the thousands of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that participated in the five united Nations summit conferences held between. It is argued that three main factors contributed to the successful utilization of the technology: the technical infrastructure; the supplementary services of support, training and promotion; and apcs internal communications experience.
Introduction, in the early 1990s, the United Nations held five world summits on matters of social and environmental concern. To help translate the pan-governmental debate on social and environmental problems into effective policy implementation at the local level, the un agreed to the active involvement of non-governmental organizations (NGOs). These activities took place at a time when computer communications technology was beginning to be deployed internationally, and many of the thousands of ngos attending the summits used the computer networks of the Association for Progressive communications (APC) to keep themselves informed on summit-related issues. The apc was the primary provider of online services for: * 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and development (unced rio de janeiro * 1993 United Nations Conference on Human Rights (unchr) in vienna, austria * 1994 International Conference on Population and development (uncpd). The apc, the Association for Progressive communications (APC) is an international nonprofit umbrella organization for 24 national or regional computer networks serving the needs of the social change sector. Established in 1990 to facilitate cooperation, information-sharing, and technical interoperability among its members (OBrien, 1992; Frederick, 1993 its mission is: to empower and support organisations, social movements and individuals in and through the use of information and communication technologies to build strategic communities and initiatives. The apc member networks, while incorporated as nonprofits, operate as fee-for-service businesses.
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Instead, world summits such as rio20 seem to serve mainly to find ways to paint the capitalist goose fetching shades of green. So if the rio20 summit appears to have lived up to its detractors, and become shrouded in a cloud of bad feeling, where to find the silver lining? Silver lining outside conference? The answer may be to look outside of the summit itself. Parallel to the rio20 conference scene was an alternative scene - dubbed the. People's Summit - attended by some 15,000 people-a-day from a host of grassroots organizations across the globe. Here there were campaigns to oppose the commercialization of water rights by big water companies, to stop oil drilling in the Arctic, and to promote indigenous people's rights. There was also a willingness to challenge the 'business-as-usual' approach that rio20 implicit reviews essay endorsed.
'283 paragraphs of fluff' was george monbiot's pointed comment in the guardian, referring to the final agreed text released yesterday at the close of the summit. So at what point did 'urgent' become translated into 'anodyne'? That is a little difficult to tell, given that the final text was agreed even before the delegates had arrived - and because of the absence of the press from those initial negotiations, or the conference halls later. But some idea of the changing attitudes among the 'middling income' countries, such as China and the host, Brazil, can be gleaned by remarks made by its finance minister, guido mantega: "The expansion of trade with China can be infinite he told the guardian. "China is fast growing and wants to stimulate consumption so they will continue to buy our commodities. There are no limits." For the rising economic powers of China, india and Brazil, the notion of sustainable development is as much a vacuous 'buzz word' as it has long been for the falling economic powers of the west. Courted by a powerful bloc of countries enjoying their rising material wealth, as well as a weakening bloc of countries desperate to hold onto theirs, no-one seems keen to look administrative for a replacement for the economic goose. All are still in throe to those golden eggs (even if they seem to be being laid less regularly).
the first rio summit, back in 1992. But it might have been hoped that, twenty years later, that real action would be top of the agenda. This lack of action extends further down the priority list - on proposals for international protection for the world's oceans, to calls to end the 1 trillion bill for fossil fuel subsidies, on measures to act on women's rights to reproductive health - all. Absence seems to be the dominant theme. Roll out the fluff. There were no new funds agreed to address the world's pressing environmental and development problems. There were no new international conventions or accords agreed. There was no action on the need to wean the world from its fossil fuel addiction. There were words - and plenty of them too - but words that seemed devoid of intent.
It's an empty shell' said the head of the United Nations Environment Programme. 'It contributes almost nothing to our struggle to survive as a species said a nicaraguan conference representative. 'Insipid' said the uk's Deputy Prime minister. Planet pressing boundaries, the chorus of negativity is all the more worrying when looking at the environmental backdrop to second Earth Summit in rio - despite the passage of 20 years, the indicators are only flashing red more urgently. CO2 emissions have increased by 36; the planetary population has swelled.5 more billion people; and 300 million hectares of primary forest have disappeared. The sense of that humanity is pressing against the planet's boundaries has been reinforced repeatedly by scientific study - only this April a report by the uk's royal Society pressed for an urgent change in direction. That report emphasized what an earlier un report had concluded - the need to switch from a dogged pursuit of material economic growth that seems heedless of the wider costs. The fact that primary theme set for the rio20 letter conference - 'the green economy' - did, therefore, hold out some hope that world leaders may finally grasp the urgency of changing the economic tack. Talks about talks, sadly, the only outcome from all the talk at rio20 about the 'green economy' was to keep talking - about more talks.
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Rio20, United Nations Conference on Sustainable development, rio de janeiro, brazil, june 20-22, 2012. Twenty years on from the ringing declaration of intent of the rio earth Summit in 1992, the empty conference pavillions of riocentro convention Centre - vacated yesterday by the 19,000 delegates to its successor, rio20 - now echo to a more depressing sound. A dismal patter of disappointment and frustration has rained down on the efforts of 190 nations to breathe life into the notion of sustainable development: 'Epic failure' were the words of a greenpeace director. 'Profound disappointment' said a letter from 1,000 ngos. 'woefully inadequate' cried the Friends of the earth. . 'Colossal failure of leadership and vision' said the director-general of the wwf. And it's not just the usual suspects lowering a cloud of doom over a summit dubbed optimistically 'the future we want 'there is rainbow no energy here.