Internet Governance Forum to examine issues of trust in cyberspace at its annual meeting, 12-14 November

Paris, France

France will host this year’s Internet Governance Forum at UNESCO in Paris. The Forum will examine ways to build an internet of trust that contributes to sustainable development and the building of knowledge societies, free of campaigns that spread hate and divisiveness.

UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay will open the Forum (12 November, 3pm) alongside António Guterres, Secretary-General of the UN, and Emmanuel Macron, President of France.

More than 3,000 representatives from governments, the United Nations, regulatory bodies and of civil society including actors of the technology industry, and academia will take part in the Forum.

Convened by the Secretary-General of the UN, the Forum seeks to highlight open and inclusive discussions on the need to uphold human rights in the digital environment. Specific topics to be addressed will include the digital divide, gender equality, the impact of artificial intelligence and frontier technologies as well as issues concerning cyber security, countering hate speech and violent extremism.

UNESCO plays a central role in the global debate on the principles that need to guide the development of artificial intelligence and intends to organize a conference on the subject at its Headquarters in early 2019.

On 15 November, following the Internet Governance Forum, UNESCO, in partnership with the Internet Society (ISOC) and the Mozilla Foundation, will host an open discussion on “Harnessing Artificial Intelligence to Foster Knowledge Societies and Good Governance.”

The public discussion is intended to provide insight on the impact of emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence and the internet of things on UNESCO’s work to promote the free flow of ideas by word and image and build inclusive knowledge societies. The discussion will examine the technological, ethical, political, social, and legal implications of the development and application of AI.

Internet governance is a central issue to UNESCO’s work to maximize the potential of the internet in fostering sustainable human development and enhancing the free flow of information and ideas worldwide. The Organization advocates an open, transparent and inclusive approach to internet governance, guaranteeing universal access and respect for human rights and ethical principles including online freedom of expression, and respect for privacy as well as cultural and linguistic diversity.

During the Forum, UNESCO will organize the following workshops:

The Internet Governance Forum promotes dialogue and encourages an exchange of ideas to improve the way the internet is governed and protect human dignity and trust. The event is open to all with optional online participation (see website, where webcasts and live transcripts of the sessions will also be available).


Media wishing to cover the IGF should register online and contact Anja Gengo, IGF Secretariat, for accreditation, +41 22 917 3411