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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

UNESCO underscores interest in IGF

Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information at the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), Mr. Jânis Kârkli, has explained why the organisation is interested in the Internet Governance Forum (IGF).

Addressing participants at the Fifth Internet Governance Forum (IGF) which ended in Vilnius, Lithuania, last weekend, he said, that UNESCO’s interest in the IGF was stemmed from their conviction that the Internet has a key role to play in fostering pluralistic and equitable knowledge societies.

He also said that the Internet has the wherewithal to support the development of inclusive knowledge societies.

The Internet, he noted, must be governed in a way that provides each and everyone not only with access to the Internet, but also with access to quality content.

He noted that the Internet governance mechanisms should be based on the principle of “openness”, encompassing interoperability, freedom of expression in knowledge societies and measures to resist any attempt to censor content.

UNESCO, he said, would continue to safeguard key values like freedom of expression, cultural and linguistic diversity and openness.

UNESCO, he said, has been an ardent supporter of, and contributor to IGF, which it had always seen as an essential platform for multi-stakeholder discussions.

“The Forum provides an important channel for exchanges of opinions, ideas, and concerns. It provides us all with inspiration and ideas for our work to improve Internet governance,” he said.
Looking back to the last five year, when IGF began, he noted that ICANN was reporting to the United States (US) government under the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding.

Pointing out that during the IGF in Athens in 2006, the community began discussion on the management of resources for the internet.

“A year later the Memorandum of Understanding was replaced by a Joint Project Agreement and three years later by the Affirmation of Commitments,” he recalled, emphasizing that the heated debates of the IGF meetings contributed significantly to gradual evolutions in the oversight mechanisms of the technical coordinator of the Domain Name Systems (DNS).

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