This research reviews more than 50 Internet-specific declarations and frameworks relevant to Internet principles. These documents provided important context for UNESCO’s comprehensive Internet Study, titled Keystones for the Internet. However, it was also clear that there a need for a specific review of the declarations and frameworks from the perspective of UNESCO’s mandate.
This publication fulfils this role and it shows that while each of these other documents has its own value, none of them fully meets UNESCO’s interests and mandate. It is proposed therefore that UNESCO adopt the concept of “Internet Universality” as the Organisation’s own clear identifier for approaching the various fields of Internet issues and their intersections with UNESCO concerns.
Internet Universality highlights the contribution that can be made by an Internet that is based on four principles, recognised by UNESCO governing bodies. An Internet developed on these principles would be: human Rights-based; Open; Accessible to all; and governed through Multi-stakeholder participation (summarized in the acronym R.O.A.M.).
This concept has relevance to the Organization’s work in many areas – including online freedom of expression and privacy; efforts to advance universality in education, social inclusion and gender equality; multilingualism in cyberspace; access to information and knowledge; and ethical dimensions of information society.