The Bogota Declaration

Four hundred participants from 40 countries of Africa, Latin America, Caribbean, and Europe, gathered in the city of Santafe' de Bogota on 26 May 1995 to participate in a plenary assembly of the first International Congress of CDS/ISIS, which commemorated the fiftieth anniversary of UNESCO and the tenth anniversary of MicroISIS.

The following considerations formed the basisof deliberations:

(i) That UNESCO is the United Nations Organization with the specific mandate to promote the development of information systems and services, the preservation of the written and audio-visual memory of humanity, and the interchange of information between people, in pursuance of its constitutional objective to substitute in people's minds ideas of war with ideas of peace.

(ii) That UNESCO with the adaptation, ten years ago, of the CDS/ISIS software to microcomputers, and, later, of the IDAMS software, favoured the development of national information systems and allowed thousands of users and information units as well as programmes of other international organizations to benefit from the computerisation of information services, thus bringing about a level of standardiz-ation which has greatly fostered the exchange of information between member states.

(iii) That the utilisation of MicroISIS and IDAMS has contributed to reduction of the gap separating developed from developing countries in what concerns the use of new information technologies.

(iv) That Micro ISIS has been recognised as a system of high professional standard which has demonstrated its effectiveness during these ten years as compared to other systems and which has reached an outstanding level of development.

(v) That UNESCO, facing the challenges of the new technologies, has recognised the need to bestow a new dimension to the MicroISIS software, which requires substantially larger resources than the ones presently available as well as the support of all the member states and other international organizations.

(vi) That the structure created by UNESCO for the development and dissemination of the software has allowed the establishment of a considerable world wide network of distributors, the training of thousands of professionals and users, and the constitution of a number of national associations, all based on the principle of free distribution and co-operative action.

The recommendations adopted after the deliberations were:

(i) That the National Commission for UNESCO of Colombia, the host country of this event, promote the present declaration amongst the National Commissions of other member states, which will constitute an essential contribution to the objectives being pursued for the benefit of the international community.

(ii) That the delegations of member states to the next General Conference of UNESCO propose to this high assembly the urgent launching of a programme for the development of MicroISIS in order to adapt it to the current requirements of information technology and to the globalization of information systems.

(iii) That the delegations of member states to the next General Conference of UNESCO propose the strengthening of the unit at Headquarters in charge of the development and distribution of the system, in the framework of which the co-ordination between the UNESCO National Commissions and the national and regional distributors should play a major role.

(iv) That the member states guarantee that the institutions designated as national or regional distributors are given the necessary resources to carry out the tasks brought about by the new developments of the software, to organize refresher courses, and to provide the required technical assistance.

(v) That the role of national user associations be recognised as an important complement to the present structure in charge of the development and distribution of the software within UNESCO, and that the creation of new national associations be promoted in support of this activity.

(vi) That UNESCO provide the necessary resources to permit the attendance of distributors in the member states to yearly refresher seminars.

(vii) That UNESCO promote the organization of a biennial International MicroISIS Congress, as a privileged forum for the evaluation of the software, its future developments and the interchange of experience in its use.

(viii) That UNESCO guarantee through its Regional Advisor for the General Information Programme for Latin America and the Caribbean the continuation of the publishing of the MIcroISIS Clearing-House CD-ROM as well as the establishment of a server dedicated to this function on Internet.

(ix) That UNESCO urge the distributors, the user associations and other international organizations participating in the development and dissemination of the software to actively co-operate in the preparation of advertising and training materials as well as manuals.

(x) That the user associations study innovative co-operation and co-ordination mechanisms at the regional and international levels with the view, in particular, to raise funds and generate resources towards the development and promotion of the software.

(xi) That UNESCO continue and reinforce the recently established policy of carrying out the development of the software in partnership with institutions in the member states, selected on the basis of their commitment to MIcroISIS and their technical competence, and co-ordinate such efforts.

(xii) That UNESCO preserve the principle of free distribution and co-operative action which has characterised the first ten years, of existence of MicroISIS.