UNESCO moves ahead with new concept for “Internet Universality”

A UNESCO division is moving ahead to formulate a new concept of “Internet Universality,” a statement for the U.N. body said Monday.

The UNESCO’s Division of Freedom of Expression and Media Development is in its open consultation with all stakeholders on the new concept, with the release this week of a second version of a concept paper, the statement said.

The concept of “Internet Universality” provides an overarching understanding of key elements of the Internet.

These are the underlying norms that contribute to shaping the use and development of Internet: (i) free and human rights based; (ii) openness; (iii) accessible to all; and (iv) multi-stakeholder driven participation. The four can be summarized by the mnemonic R – O – A – M (Rights-based, Open, Accessible, Multi-stakeholder driven).

Since the process began in February 2013, the concept has also been canvass at eight international fora, UNESCO says.

By bringing together UNESCO’s existing positions on the Internet, the concept of “Internet Universality” could help to frame much of UNESCO’s Internet-related work in education, culture, science, social science and communication-information for the strategic period of 2014-2021.

In addition, the concept could support UNESCO’s work in facilitating international multi-stakeholder cooperation in regard to the Internet, and it could also highlight what the Organization can bring to the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

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