Resolution on Role of Social Networks in Civil Engagement

APPF25-RES-04

25th Annual Meeting of the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum
15-19 January 2017

Resolution on Role of Social Networks in Civil Engagement

APPF25/RES/04

(Sponsored by Chile)

The 25th Annual Meeting of the Asia‐Pacific Parliamentary Forum;

Reasserting the current international treaties, specially what is stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights  where everyone has the right to take part in the government of his/her country, as well as  the right to privacy, freedom of expression, and freedom of association and of assembly;

Ratifying the principles of the Asia‐Pacific Parliamentary Forum aimed at consolidating peace,  freedom, democracy and respect for human rights contained in the 1993 Declaration of  Tokyo, the 1997 Vancouver Declaration, the 2001 Declaration of Valparaiso and the 2012 New  Declaration of Tokyo;

Noting that promoting civic engagement is key to strengthening democracy and that the 2015  APEC Leaders’ Declaration recognised the fact that in order to reach inclusive growth it is  necessary to count on the participation of all sectors and segments of the society, including  women, youth, disabled people, indigenous peoples, low income groups of people, among  others;

Recalling that the New Declaration of Tokyo acknowledges all transformations in the region and  in the world concerning the progress of globalisation and the information revolution;

Recognising that innovation can help to face challenges and to create progress towards  sustainable development as mentioned in the Work Group 2016‐2025 Strategic Plan – APEC’s  Policy Partnership on Science, Technology and Innovation and the No. 10 Resolution on Fostering Innovation and Connectivity passed during the 24th Annual Meeting of the Asia‐ Pacific Parliamentary Forum;

Considering that even though Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) have great  potential to foster civic engagement and to move forward into the strengthening of  democracy, they are vulnerable to surveillance, interception and improper collection of  personal data by States, companies and other non‐governmental sectors;

Recalling Resolution A/RES/68/167 adopted in 2013 by the United Nations General Assembly  where apart from recognising the global and open nature of the internet and the  advancement of ICTs as a tool that is able to speed up development in many areas, the right  of every person to privacy was reaffirmed and States are urged to guarantee the protection  of such rights and review their procedures, practices and legislation in relation to information  surveillance, interception and improper collection of personal data;

Stressing the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda adopted in September 2015,  whose Goal 16 has the aim of promoting peace, justice and the construction of efficient,  inclusive and transparent institutions, which involves the obligation to guarantee access to  public information;

Acknowledging the World e‐Parliament Report 2016 created by the Inter‐Parliamentary Union,  which states that ICTs are able to transform parliaments, that parliaments must be  committed to digital transformation and that social networks are important tools that allow  citizens to easily connect with their elected representatives; and

Recognising that the Asia‐Pacific region is a geographical area subjected to high scale natural  disasters and that ICTs, especially social networks, are invaluable tools to reinforce education  and to make communities aware of disaster risk reduction, as reflected in the Sendai  Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015‐2030;


RESOLVES TO:

1. Establish that all progress in relation to ICTs has the potential to promote citizens’  participation with easy access to public information, to create opportunities to foster  democratic discussions and favour civic organisations reaching in this way more  participative, democratic and transparent societies;

2. Urge the APPF Member States to take measures to progressively move forward to universal  access to the internet, stressing access to those citizens who are experiencing poverty to  avoid their exclusion from the network community and guaranteeing their right to have  access to public information digitally;

3. Acknowledge that in order to continue building a community in the Asia‐Pacific region  based on tolerance and mutual understanding, it is necessary to encourage exchanges  between societies by using the new ICTs, particularly social networks;

4. Encourage the APPF Member States to adopt the new technologies and to use social  networks to inform the community of legislative activities, create increased closeness  between parliament and citizens and promote an open, honest and inclusive discussion  through the networks;

5. Urge the parliamentary libraries of the APPF Member States to create digital content to  promote democracy and improve access to and quality of education, and make progress  towards a mutual understanding and encourage cultural exchange oriented to the people,  especially to young people and children who constitute the future of the Asia‐Pacific region;  and

6. Call on the APPF Member States to promote public policies oriented to prevention of  disasters and rehabilitation and reconstruction. These initiatives can empower people  through the use of ICTs such as social networks, as key tools to transfer knowledge on  disaster risk management to communities and make citizens’ communication and  organisation easier in the event of a disaster.



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Resolution on Role of Social Networks in Civil Engagement

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