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UNESCO General Conference, 26 Oct - 1 Nov 2007

Communication and Information Commission, Room XI
Speech by Constance Bommelaer, Internet Society (ISOC)

Mister President,
Representative of the General Director,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am speaking today as the representative of the Internet Society (ISOC) – a non governmental organisation (NGO) in operational relations – but also on behalf of UNESCO’s Communication and New Technologies Joint Program Commission, presided by Mr. Bernard Loing.

We are here today, ladies and gentlemen, to envision and plan strategically UNESCO’s future activities related to Information and Communication for the coming period.

We are particularly enthusiastic about the leading role UNESCO will continue to play in the implementation of the World Summit on Information Society’s Action Lines and the orientation the organisation has taken to deepen and develop its activities in these areas. We would like to take advantage of the opportunity we have today to recognise and welcome the important development of the activities related to New Technologies and more specifically to the Internet.

From its inception, the mission of the Internet Society has been to promote the open development, evolution, and use of the Internet for the benefit of all people throughout the world. We believe the standards, technologies, business practices, and government and community-driven policies connected with the Internet must sustain an open, universally accessible platform for innovation, creativity, and economic opportunity. These imperatives command us to pursue our global efforts to spur technical access to the Internet, but also to develop Education in the use of the Internet, cultural diversity, and local and multilingual content. In this way, the Internet can improve the quality of life for people in all parts of the world.

The Internet Society and the other NGOs comprising UNESCO’s Communication and New Technologies Joint Program Commission insist on the need to pursue these efforts with a multi-stakeholder methodology. From this perspective, we are thrilled to pursue our collaboration with UNESCO and more specifically with the excellent staff that leads its Information and Communication (IC) sector.

Thank you.