UNESCO and Internet governance
UNESCO acknowledges the potential of the Internet for fostering sustainable human development and building more democratic societies, and also for enhancing the free flow of information and ideas throughout the world.
The Organization has consistently stressed that the mechanisms of Internet governance should be based on the principles of openness, privacy and diversity, encompassing universal access, interoperability, freedom of expression and measures to resist any attempt to censor content.
It should also respect cultural and linguistic diversity, which were echoed as well in the “Recommendation concerning the Promotion and Use of Multilingualism and Universal Access to Cyberspace”.
All of these elements appeared essential for UNESCO to fulfill its mandate and mission entrusted by Member States.
On 3-4 March 2015, UNESCO hosted the CONNECTing the Dots: Options for Future Action conference on UNESCO’s Internet Study.
The multistakeholder conference attracted over 400 speakers and participants from governments, civil society, academia, inter-governmental and international organizations, the private sector and the technical community as well as other pioneers of the Internet Governance space. The conference was constituted of 16 breakout sessions covering four main topics: access, freedom of expression, privacy and ethics.
The reflections and recommendations that emerged from the conference represent a valuable contribution to Member States’ decision on UNESCO’s future action and to the WSIS+10 Review process and the Post-2015 Development Agenda.