(ZIZ News) – Internet privacy and other related topics were the centre of discussions on Wednesday as the OECS and UNESCO hosted the opening ceremony of a conference and consultation at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort.
According to officials, one of the goals of the conference is to spotlight the effects of improper use of the internet, particularly with its impact on the youth.
It is being held under the theme, “The Ethical Dimensions of the Information Society and Internet Privacy”.
The event began with an opening ceremony which featured remarks by several high-level dignitaries.
Secretary General of the St. Kitts-Nevis National Commission for UNESCO, Antonio Maynard said the conference is part of UNESCO’s efforts to develop a holistic approach to challenges surrounding the use of the Internet.
He added, “The proliferation of modern technology and the Internet have gone unchecked in these small islands for too long. And so, at the end of this event, hopefully, we should have a better sense of where we are going with respect to this vast real estate we call ‘The Internet”.
Minister of Education, the Hon. Shawn Richards said vulnerable groups, such as the youth, are particularly at risk on the Internet. He challenged the National Commission for UNESCO and the Department of Information Technology to develop a programme for schools that promotes E-safety.
“The programme should prepare students to 1) understand the ethical consequences of online behaviour, 2) make ethical online decisions, 3) demonstrate good behaviour and respect when communicating and collaborating in the digital world, 4) participate within the digital society, without misusing and abusing it,” Minister Richards outlined.
Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs, the Hon. Vincent Byron said the digital world has become an integral part of our daily lives, however, there are certain challenges that can negatively impact society. He said the government is addressing them.
“This initiative is certainly a timely one as the government is cognizant of the positive contribution of Information and Communication Technologies to a society that depends on the creation of an enabling environment for meaningful participation and representation of all persons in this information society,” the Minister said.
The conference is being held in two parts: consultation and workshop sessions.
Topics to be covered during the workshop sessions include privacy and data protection, cyber-bullying, protecting the digital footprint and the review of Small Island Developing States case studies relating to ethical dimensions.