ACURIL XXXVI Aruba 2006
SPEECH BY THE PRESIDENT OF ACURIL
Presented at the 36th Annual Conference of the
Association of Caribbean University, Research and Institutional Lbraries
Aruba Resort & Spa
May 28-- June 2, 2006
XXXVI ACURIL Conference
Opening address by the President of ACURIL, mrs. Astrid Brittin
Speaker of the Parliament, mrs. Mervin Wyatt-Ras;
Prime Minister of Aruba, mr. Nelson Oduber;
Minister of Education, Social Affairs and Infrastructure, mrs. Marisol Lopez-
Past-presidents and members of the Executive Council
Distinguished keynote speakers
Bon nochi, good evening, buenas noches, bon soir, goedenavond.
This year's conference is dedicated to "Information and Human Rights" with a
focus on "Social, Cultural and Ethical aspects of the Information Society".
Our contemporary digital era and the consequences of the rapid
developments in Information and Communication Technology is a challenge
and at the same time a concern for our societies; which requires constant
monitoring by the information professionals.
That is the reason why our main concern at this conference is not on the
technical aspects of the ICT revolution, but our focus will be on the social,
cultural and ethical aspects of the information society. Our libraries are
gateways to information, knowledge and culture, but as librarians we also feel
the responsibility to ensure that the human rights of the citizens of our
countries continue to be respected in the modern information society.
Freedom, equality and safety for all citizens of the world are the three
underlying principles of the Declaration of Human Rights. During this
conference, we will discuss how we as information professionals can put
these principles into action in our daily work by identifying the threats and
safeguarding the rights of the users.
Libraries cannot contribute significantly to either education or development,
unless their users have free access to the information and feel free to express
their own opinion on topics that concern them. One of the basic contributions
that libraries can make to education and development is to preserve the
national memory of their countries.
The conch that we use in the logo of this conference, the ancient device of
communication of the indigenous peoples of the Caribbean, symbolizes the
Caribbean sounds in the digital era, reflecting the voices raised on our islands
and mainland territories, and echoing the aspirations of our peoples to enjoy
information in freedom, safeguarding human rights.
It is in the spirit of this deeprooted desire that I wish all of you a wonderful
conference with rewarding discussions and recommendations, readily
applicable in our institutions and professional life to safeguard human rights in
the information society in our Caribbean territories.