Thursday, November 12, 2009

All packed and ready for IGF'09 in Sharam El-Sheikh & a bit about Internet Rights at the IGF

I am all set to head down to Sharam El-Sheikh from Lahore, Pakistan to attend the UN IGF 2009 within a few hours and wanted to share this post before heading off to the Airport. Going through the work that we at the MAG (Multistakeholder Advisory Group) had accomplished so far in organizing the current IGF, I was reflecting upon the fact that the event this year should have carried a main session in the main program on Internet Rights or simply said, Human Rights on the Internet. Why? Well if you look at the global trend, it feels like that a year or two back, we Civil Society people were nuts beating the Human Rights Declaration drum to recognize it over the Internet but now we see the debates surrounding rights on the Internet popping up literally in every continent of the world.

In my opinion, the recent stances on Internet related Human Rights adopted by the European Commission and the European Council on different occasions signify the importance of this issue as a basic right that has to be recognized by hook or crook otherwise future Internet Public Policy making will be facing a great deal of hurdles. Within the context of IGF, I am still very optimistic that with the discussions and evaluations of its continuation, the IGF will face some immediate and important transformations that will bring into focus the issue of Human Rights and the Internet.

Before ending this post, I would like to congratulate everyone in the IGF Internet Rights Dynamic Coalition for the wonderful work they have put into redraft and improve the previous Internet Rights Charter released by the APC, the Association of Progressive Communications. When the Dynamic Coalition met earlier this September in Geneva at the European Broadcast Union premises, it was unanimously decided that the Human Rights Declaration should also be recognized on the Internet and where necessary, suggestions should be shared for its lingo. Now looking at the final Internet Rights Charter draft that will possibly be released during the current Internet Governance Forum in Sharam signifies the importance of the Human Rights Declaration within the context of the Internet. Cheers!

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