UNESCO will launch the Spanish and Portuguese versions of its publication Keystones to foster inclusive knowledge societies: access to information and knowledge, freedom of expression, privacy and ethics on a global internet, within the framework of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), to be held from 18 to 21 December 2017 in Geneva (Switzerland).
The work was made possible by the valuable contribution of Cetic.br, a UNESCO Category II Centre located in San Paulo (Brazil).
Welcoming the publication, Guy Berger, UNESCO’s Director for Freedom of Expression and Media Development, said: “Given the great interest of Spanish and Portuguese-speaking Member States in Internet governance, it is very positive that UNESCO – with the help of CGI.br - is now able to offer this study in languages that are accessible to most citizens in these countries.”
Dr. Alexandre Barbosa, manager at Cetic.br, commented that: "UNESCO’s comprehensive Internet study provides important insights related to the Internet Universality Principles. Such principles, represented by the acronym R.O.A.M, reinforce that the Internet should be Human Rights-based, Open, Accessible to all and nurtured by Multi-stakeholder participation. As such it is comprises key concepts for policymakers, private sector representatives and other key actors.”
He explained that the study was very relevant for promoting discussions on important principles related to the development of the Internet among the international community.
This is why the Regional Center for Studies on the Development of the Information Society (Cetic.br), linked to the Brazilian Network Information Center (NIC.br), had taken up the work for translating the study into Portuguese and Spanish.
“This represents an effort to further disseminate this material in our region. In particular, it has resulted in the current development of Internet Universality Indicators aimed at enrichening the stakeholder’s capacity for assessing this theme. The translation of the publication, therefore, reinforces Cetic.br’s commitment to monitoring the building of information and knowledge societies and contributing to a more informed debate on topics related to the development of the Internet."
UNESCO’s vision of universal Knowledge Societies is dependent 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 in order to foster sustainable economic and social development worldwide.
To address this question, UNESCO’s Member States agreed on Internet Universality and its focus on four interdependent fields of Internet policy and practice perceived to be central to achieving sustainable development.
These are access to information and knowledge, freedom of expression, privacy, and ethical norms and behaviour online. The four key fields were investigated using the Internet Universality framework, which is based on four normative principles agreed by UNESCO Member States: human rights, openness, accessibility and multistakeholder participation, summarised in the acronym R-O-A-M.
The research builds upon a series of UNESCO studies and reports on the Internet and Knowledge Societies. It draws upon an intensive consultation process, which included a series of UNESCO meetings with multiple stakeholders, and the analysis of 200 responses to a global questionnaire on the four keystones and the crosscutting issues of the Internet Study, the majority from Latin America and the Caribbean.
Addressing methodological aspects of the publication, Berger underlined that: "Arising out of global consultations, the Keynote study remains of major importance. It laid the foundations for UNESCO Member States to adopt the concept of Internet Universality in 2015. The linked principles - Rights, Openness, Accessibility, and Multistakeholder participation - are signposts for an Internet that contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals".
The results of the study reinforce the growing awareness of how the digital revolution is influencing all spheres of public and private life. More and more personal and public information is collected, stored, processed and shared electronically. All this brings with it unparalleled opportunities for social and sustainable economic development, such as around ICTs for development, as well as diverse challenges in such areas as access, freedom of expression, privacy and ethics.
Concretely, the study proposes 38 possible options for consideration and future action by Member States. UNESCO hopes that these will keep stimulating and inform discussion, now particularly in Spanish and Portuguese-speaking countries around the world, which populations are estimated in 570 million and 266 million people of total speakers, respectively.