UNESCO releases Internet Study

UNESCO’s vision of universal Knowledge Societies builds on a free, open and trusted Internet that enables people to not only have the ability to access information resources from around the world, but to also contribute information and knowledge to local and global communities. What can UNESCO do to move towards the realization of this vision of Internet-enabled Knowledge Societies that can foster inclusive sustainable human development worldwide?

To address this question within the mandate of this study, UNESCO has worked with Member States and other stakeholders to analyse four separate but interdependent fields of Internet policy and practice, within the mandate of UNESCO, perceived to be central to achieving this vision. These are access to information and knowledge, freedom of expression, privacy, and ethical norms and behaviour online.

This report assesses these four fields by viewing them as keystones for building a free and trusted global Internet that will enable inclusive Knowledge Societies. As a part of this multi-stakeholder consultative process, UNESCO has organized the CONNECTing the Dots Conference on 3 and 4 March 2015, with 400 participants from all stakeholder groups, from across the world, reviewing the draft Study. Ahead of the conference, the draft study was put online in open consultation with stakeholders. All those comments and suggestions, received through the Conference and online consultation, have been incorporated into the final version of the Study. The study was built on a year-long multistakeholder consultation process, which involved several rounds of consultation with member states and other actors, as well as almost 200 major responses to an online questionnaire.

The Study includes the Options for future actions of UNESCO in the Internet related issues, which has served as a basis for the Outcome Document as adopted by the “CONNECTing the Dots” conference.

The Study also affirmed that the same rights that people have offline must be protected online, and good practices are shared between Member States and other stakeholders, in order to address security and privacy concerns on the Internet and in accordance with international human rights obligations. The Study also supports the Internet Universality principles (R.O.A.M) that promote a human rights-based approach, including freedom of expression, privacy, open Internet, accessible to all and characterized by multistakeholder participation”.

Keystones to foster inclusive knowledge societies: access to information

and knowledge, freedom of expression, privacy, and ethics on a global

internet, Paris: UNESCO, 2015, 107 p.

http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0023/002325/232563E.pdf English

http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0023/002325/232564F.pdf French

More on http://en.unesco.org/post2015/