Scholars should help make the internet more human-centred
The internet must be a platform for shared humanity. This message by Frank La Rue, UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information, set the tone for the international colloquium on digital humanism that got underway this morning here in Paris.
Mr La Rue, who spoke via a video message, argued: “UNESCO has been promoting the idea of a universal internet which respects people’s human rights, is open, affords everyone accessibility and is subject to a governance system based on multistakeholder participation.”
Agreeing with La Rue, Canadian ambassador to UNESCO, Elaine Ayotte, echoed the notion of a multistakeholder internet as key to the democratic potential of the internet.
In this regard, she applauded the support UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) provides to media projects promoting freedom of expression and safety on the internet.
The Orbicom conference is an annual gathering which started in Paris in 2012 under the aegis of UNESCO, bringing together UNESCO Chairs and associate members in communication to reflect on how the Orbicom network could contribute towards UNESCO’s work in the area of communication and information. It has since been held in Rabat (Morocco), Bordeaux (France), and Mexico (Mexico).
The philosophy underpinning these meetings, observed Orbicom President, Bertrand Cabedoche, is to ‘act as a think tank to respond both to UNESCO’s need for scholarly reflection to inform its work and the research objectives of individual Chairholders.’
Attracting over 100 participants, the colloquium, which will run for three days, is being hosted by the UNESCO Chair for Information and Communication Sciences, Guislaine Azémard, who is based at the University of Paris 8.
Click here for more information on the colloquium.
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