Building peace in the minds of men and women

Internet Governance Glossary - 7.4 Conventions and treaties, regulations and legal instruments

7.4.1 United Nations Declaration on Human Rights UN/UDHR UDHR

The UDHR is a declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 December 1948 representing the first global expression of inalienable fundamental rights to which all human beings are inherently entitled, simply because she or he is a human being.

7.4.2 International Telecommunication Regulations ITR

ITR (coming into force in 1988 by the International Telecommunication Union – ITU) facilitated the international liberalisation of pricing and services and allowed a more innovative use of basic services in the Internet field, such as international leased lines, in the Internet field. It provided one of the infrastructural bases for the rapid growth of the Internet in the 1990s.
The key international organisations involved in the regulation of telecommunications include the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO).


7.4.3 Basic Telecommunication Agreement / BTA / Fourth Protocol to the General Agreement on Trade in Services

Formally called The Fourth Protocol to the General Agreement on Trade in Services the BTA was adopted on 30 April 1996 and entered into force on 5 February 1998. More than 100 countries have liberalised their telecommunication markets with the aim of boosting development of new communication services by allowing access to existing (state-owned) infrastructure.


7.4.4 UNCITRAL Model Law on Electronic Commerce

The Model Law on Electronic Commerce (1996) of the United Nations Commission for International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) serves as a model for national and international legislation and assists contracting parties in formulating their contracts. It provides some guidance for removing barriers to electronic commerce, but is not a binding legal instrument.


7.4.5 Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works / Berne Convention

The Berne Convention (first accepted in 1886) requires its signatories to recognize the copyright of works of authors from other signatory countries (known as members of the Berne Union) in the same way as it recognizes the copyright of its own nationals. In addition to establishing a system of equal treatment that internationalised copyright amongst signatories, the agreement also required member states to provide strong minimum standards for copyright law.


7.4.6 WIPO Copyright Treaty / WCT

The WCT is an international treaty on copyright law adopted by the member states of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in 1996. WCT provides additional protections for copyright deemed necessary due to advances in information and communication technology (ICT) since the formation of previous copyright treaties before it.


7.4.7 Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights TRIPS

TRIPS is an international agreement was negotiated in 1994 and is administered by the World Trade Organization (WTO). It sets down minimum standards for many forms of intellectual property (IP) regulation as applied to nationals of other WTO Members.


7.4.8 Convention on Cybercrime / Budapest Convention on Cybercrime / Budapest Convention

The Budapest Convention on Cybercrime (adopted by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on 8 November 2001 and entered into force on 1 July 2004) is the first international treaty on crimes committed via the Internet and other computer networks by harmonizing national laws, improving investigative techniques, and increasing cooperation among nations.

7.4.9 Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards / New York Convention

The New York Convention (1958) regulates the enforcement of arbitration awards which national courts are obliged to enforce. The main limitation of arbitration is that it cannot address issues of higher public interest such as protection of human rights; these require the intervention of state-established courts.


7.4.10 UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration

The Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration (1985/2006) of the United Nations Commission for International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) provides a pattern that law-makers in national governments can adopt as part of their domestic legislation on arbitration. The model law is not binding, but individual states may adopt the model law by incorporating it into their domestic law.


7.4.11 W3C Web Accessibility Initiative Web Content Accessibility Guidelines / WCAG

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are part of a series of web accessibility guidelines published by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the main international standards organization for the World Wide Web. They consist of a set of guidelines for making content accessible, primarily for people with disabilities, but also for all user agents, including highly limited devices, such as mobile phones. The current version, WCAG 2.0, was published in December 2008 and is also an ISO standard, ISO/IEC 40500:2012.