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UNESCO is pleased to present this study, which represents a response to a resolution by the General Conference in 2013 to address key issues concerning the Internet for Knowledge Societies.
This report builds on the finalized concept paper for the Internet Comprehensive Study, which was released in June 2014. The study and earlier concept paper stemmed from an item placed on the agenda of UNESCO’s 192nd Executive Board in October 2013, which informed debate by UNESCO Member States on Internet-related issues of relevance to UNESCO’s mandate. The discussion focused on ethics and privacy in cyberspace, as well as freedom of expression and access, which are the foci of the present report. During the 37th session of the General Conference, Member States affirmed the principle of applicability of human rights in cyberspace, and there was general acceptance that UNESCO was an appropriate forum to facilitate and lead discussion on issues within its mandate, including access to information and knowledge, freedom of expression, privacy, and ethical dimensions of the Information Society. Member States reached a consensus resolution that mandated this study. The Resolution called for a comprehensive and consultative multistakeholder study within the mandate of UNESCO on Internet-related issues of access to information and knowledge, freedom of expression, privacy, and the ethical dimensions of the Information Society.
The study was to include possible options available for future actions. The results should inform reporting to the 38th General Conference in 2015 in the framework of UNESCO’s implementation of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) outcomes.
Keystones to foster inclusive Knowledge Societies – UNESCO study