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NetConference 2015 debates new UNESCO study on the Internet

The first draft study for UNESCO’s netconference CONNECTing the Dots: Options for Future Action is now accessible online. The research examines current challenges and opportunities around access to information and knowledge, freedom of expression, privacy, and ethical dimensions of the information society.

The study is the result of a global consultation process that followed a mandate from UNESCO’s 195 Member States for a comprehensive study into Internet-related issues under UNESCO’s mandate. The submissions received during July-December 2014 have been consolidated into a draft report, titled Keystones to foster inclusive Knowledge Societies.

To discuss this draft, and the options it proposes for UNESCO member states to consider, more than 300 participants are meeting at UNESCO headquarters in Paris on 3-4 March 2015.

Called CONNECTing the dots, the event provide a platform to explore the findings of the study in preparation for its finalisation. This multistakeholder event features presentations by a wide range of speakers from all parts of the world. These include participants from governments, civil society, academia, private sector, the technical community, inter-governmental and international organizations as well as noted thought leaders, innovators and pioneers in the Internet Governance space.

The options outlined in the study will be presented to UNESCO’s Member States when they meet to determine the Organization’s programme and priorities at the next General Conference later this year. The research also represents a significant contribution to the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)+10 Review process and the post-2015 international development agenda.