Cultural diversity

News Releases / Speeches / Declarations

Diversité culturelle et gouvernance de l’Internet

Union internationale des télécommunications (UIT), Genève, le 3 mars 2004 - 2004/03/03

As a  follow-up to the first phase of the World Summit on the Information Society, held in Geneva from December 10-12, 2003, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) organized a workshop on Internet Governance in Geneva on February 26-27, 2004. During the workshop, participants focused on the key components of governance: information and network security, protection of citizens’ rights and consumer interests, support for cultural and linguistic diversity, and measures to deal with spam. In particular, they concluded, “The history of global information and communication technologies (ICT) governance has demonstrated that some things are best left to the private sector, some are best left to governments, and that satisfactory arrangements have yet to be devised for including developing countries and civil society in either the public or private domains of governance.” There were clearly divergent points of view regarding ways to address current gaps in governance. Some said that developing countries would like to see “a one stop shop” like the ITU to help them adjust to the new governance environment, since they lacked the financial, technical, and political resources to pursue their interests effectively across multiple forums.  Others felt that multiple forums allowed for faster adaptation to technological changes and more flexibility. The ITU workshop was the first of a series of meetings organized under the auspices of the United Nations to address the issue of Internet governance. Experts’ contributions and presentations, as well as audio archives are available on the ITU website. (Available also in French and English)