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Thursday, December 8 • 17:00 - 18:00

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UNESCO Open Forum session:

Putting Internet Universality at the heart of the SDGs

This session will provide participants with an introduction to UNESCO's Internet Universality approach and ROAM principles (standing for a Rights-based, Open, Accessible, Multistakeholder-shaped Internet) and link them directly to this year's IGF theme of “enabling inclusive and sustainable growth.” Building on this basis, four key topics will be covered: 

1)      Internet governance and the Sustainable Development Goals

With the ongoing technological transformations and after the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2015, it is clear that an open and collaborative Internet will be a critical component in achieving sustainable development. Building on the 2015 IGF, UNESCO, UNDP Regional Office for LAC and GFMD propose an open debate on the connections between the Internet Governance agenda and the 2030 development agenda.

Introduction : Frank La Rue, ADG/CI


  • Anriette Esterhuysen, APC

2)      Internet Indicators Project

In 2013, Member States called at UNESCO's General Conference for a comprehensive and consultative multi-stakeholder study on Internet-related issues within UNESCO's fields of competence. This study is online at http://www.unesco.org/new/en/internetstudy and was formally endorsed by the Member States during the 38th UNESCO General Conference in November 2015.  The study promotes the “Internet Universality” concept, an Internet based on human rights, and the principles of openness, accessibility and multi-stakeholder participation, the primary framework, which will be used in this project.

UNESCO will outline and propose for discussion an initial set of Internet indicators assessing democracy, human rights and sustainable and inclusive development dimensions, while using the concept of Internet Universality (see above) as the guiding framework. 

Introduction: Guy Berger, Director, Freedom of Expression and Media Development Division (FEM) or Guilherme Canela De Souza Godoi, Programme Specialist, Montevideo Regional Office, UNESCO


  • Anri van der Spuy
  • UNDP Regional Office for LAC

3)      Balancing transparency and privacy

Balancing freedom of expression and privacy remains an important debate at the IGF in recent years. UNESCO takes this debate further to shed light on the intersections between specific aspects of freedom of information, as included in freedom of expression, and transparency. We will share highlights of the new edition of UNESCO’s Internet Freedom Series publication, relating transparency issues to privacy protection in the digital age.  Come and learn more about the tension between the public’s need to access and use public information, and privacy and personal data protection, particularly in the context of ongoing trend of ever spreading applications of big data, open data, IoT, smart cities, etc.

Introduction: Guy Berger, Director, Freedom of Expression and Media Development Division (FEM)

4)      Universal access: Multilingualism and empowering peoples with disabilities

Universal access to the Internet requires that all people, including with disabilities, can access the Internet in the language they speak, in order to enable an “inclusive and sustainable growth” of the Internet. For this, Internet users need to create and access content and have software tools in their own languages. UNESCO will briefly present multilingualism on the Internet facts, including from its work with EURid, and share information on the new UNESCO Atlas of Languages in Danger project.

Introduction: Indrajit Banerjee, Director, Knowledge Societies Division (KSD), UNESCO


  • Giovanni Seppia, External Relations Manager, EURid

Chairperson: Frank La Rue, Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information, UNESCO

Rapporteur: Xianhong Hu, Programme Specialist, FEM, UNESCO

Online moderator: Cédric Wachholz, Programme Specialist, KSD, UNESCO

Session Organizers
avatar for Xianhong Hu

Xianhong Hu

Programme Specialist, UNESCO
Dr. Xianhong Hu, UNESCO’s Programme Specialist at the Sector of Communication and Information since 2006. Her expertise and responsibilities are in the areas of freedom of expression, privacy, journalism, media development, Internet governance and AI policies. She has followed the... Read More →

Thursday December 8, 2016 17:00 - 18:00 CST
Workshop Room 6 PALCCO, Guadalajara, Mexico