This month, UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information Frank La Rue visited Honduras to promote Internet Universality Principles, and Mexico to present the Spanish translation of UNESCO’s global report on digital safety for journalism.
On 12 August, UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information participated at the event on communications regulatory bodies in the Honduras capital Tegucigalpa, organized by ISOC and the Honduras National Telecommunications Commission (CONATEL). Mr La Rue made an emphasis on the need to update the legislation to guarantee the right to equal access and universality of Internet.
Frank La Rue spoke about the basic challenges for Internet in Central America from the UNESCO perspective. His presentation was based on the Internet Universality Principles (ROAM) promoting human rights-based approach, including freedom of expression, privacy, open Internet, accessible to all and characterized by mutlistakeholder participation. The ROAM Principles are outlined in the UNESCO Internet Study that was adopted by the CONNECTing the Dots Conference held in Paris in March 2015.
Earlier this month, Frank La Rue participated in the presentation of the Spanish translation of the global report Building digital safety for journalism in Mexico. This report analyses key digital threats to journalism, ranging from hacking of journalistic communications, through to denial-of-service attacks on media websites. It takes an inclusive approach that is relevant to any actor who is in danger of being targeted for doing journalism.
According to Frank La Rue, communication and information are directly linked to the right to privacy and to the exercise of human rights, especially freedom of expression in its different forms, which should, therefore, be subject to the same protection and regulatory frameworks. "Privacy and the right to freedom of expression go hand in hand and do not exist without each other," said Mr La Rue, who also highlighted the efforts made by UNESCO’s Office in Mexico to translate into Spanish the global report.
In examining cases worldwide, this publication surveys the evolving security threats, and assesses preventive and protective measures. It shows that digital security for journalism encompasses, but also goes beyond, the technical dimension. The report gives an overview of actors and initiatives working to address digital safety, and makes a set of recommendations for governments, journalism contributors, news organizations, trainers, corporations and international organizations.
Ambassador Joel Hernández, Director-General for the United Nations in Mexico, and Nuria Sanz, Director of UNESCO’s Office in Mexico, participated in the presentation of the publication. Representatives of the Federal Institute for Access to Information, the Ministry of the Foreign Affairs and the Latin American Institute for Educational Communication also attended the event.
During his visit, Mr La Rue met with several directors and editors of news media from Mexico.