[discuss] Just Net Coalition contribution on Principles for Netmundial.br

Norbert Bollow nb at bollow.ch
Fri Mar 7 10:01:55 UTC 2014

S Moonesamy <sm+1net at elandsys.com> wrote:

> I did not find any other country located in the 
> Southern Hemisphere.  I find it difficult to 
> believe that the contribution could be 
> representative of the views from the Southern 
> Hemisphere.  The problem with representativity is 
> that it raises questions about whether a group is 
> actually representative of the interests it seeks to represent.

This sounds like you may have misunderstood something... we're not
making any claim to be “representative of the views from the Southern 
Hemisphere” specifically. Certainly there was an intention that a high
percentage of participants would be from “Global South” countries (aka
“developing” countries), and I believe that that goal has been reached,
see below.

Our self-characterization, in the first paragraph of the document,
reads as follows: 

“The Just Net Coalition was formed at a civil society meeting in New
Delhi in February 2014. It comprises several dozen organisations and
individuals from different regions globally concerned with internet
governance, human rights and social justice, and the relationship
between them.”

In the context of the Global North / Global South divide which as
Wikipedia correctly notes [1] is primarily a socio-economic and
political divide, I would count the participants on the basis of
country affiliations as follows: 37 from Global South countries
(Brazil, Ecuador, India, Phillipnes, Uruguay, Bangladesh, Thailand,
Kenya) as opposed to 13 from Global North countries (USA, Switzerland,
France, Ireland, Germany, South Korea, Canada).
[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North%E2%80%93South_divide

It is true that the geographic distribution was not perfect. Among
Global North countries, “Estern” perspectives were underrepresented
in relation to “Western” perspectives (in regard to what I call
“Eastern Global North” perspectives we had only one participant from
South Korea, but e.g. no-one from Japan), and within the set of Global
South perspectives, not only as you noted the Southern hemisphere was
relatively underrepresented, but also e.g. we had no-one from China. So
there is indeed room for improvement in this regard. This problem is
related to a significant extent to the issue of travel related
challenges, in particular the issue of costs, but getting a visa for
traveling to an international meeting can be a challenge also quite
independently of the aspect of cost.

The said, I've been quite positively impressed with the success of the
organizers of this meeting in achieving a very significant geographic
breadth of perspectives.


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