UNESCO advocated ROAM principles and indicators at EuroDIG 2021

On 28 June 2021, UNESCO organized Day-0 event at EuroDIG 2021, which was convened in two consecutive sessions dedicated to presenting national ROAM-X projects and initiatives in Europe by the leading experts from Germany, France, Serbia, Poland and Bulgaria, and triggering multi-stakeholder discussion with key partners on advancing ROAM principles and indicators project in Europe and beyond through the Dynamic Coalition on Internet Universality ROAM principles and indicators.

On 28 June 2021, UNESCO organized Day-0 event at EuroDIG 2021, which was convened in two consecutive sessions dedicated to presenting national ROAM-X projects and initiatives in Europe by the leading experts from Germany, France, Serbia, Poland and Bulgaria, and triggering multi-stakeholder discussion with key partners on advancing ROAM principles and indicators project in Europe and beyond through the Dynamic Coalition on Internet Universality ROAM principles and indicators.
Dr. Matthias C. Kettemann from Leibniz Institute for Media Research, Hans-Bredow-Institut, Lucien Castex from Université Sorbonne-Nouvelle, Tomasz Komorowski from Polish National Commission for UNESCO and Dr. Bissera Zankova representing “Media 21” Foundation – shared the view that COVID-19 pandemic, on one hand slowed down national initiatives on ROAM-X indicators, and on the other hand demonstrated the increasing relevance and urgency of applying ROAM principles to fast changing national digital ecosystems.

“The COVID-19 pandemic made us realize that Internet is not only a human right, but also the backbone of digitalization,” stated Dr. Matthias C. Kettemann, Head of Research Program, Leibniz Institute for Media Research, Hans-Bredow-Institut and lead researcher of the now completed Germany assessment. Andreaz Salz representing German National Commission for UNESCO informed that the German ROAM-X assessment report will be shortly published by UNESCO in German and English, as the 5th edition of the UNESCO Series of Internet Universality National Assessments.

Related to applying the ROAM principles in digital policies, UNESCO presented its new issue brief: “Letting the sun shine in: transparency and accountability in the digital age”. Presented by Andrew Puddephatt, Former Director of Global Partners Digital and author of the issue brief, and introduced by Rachel Pollack, UNESCO Associate Programme Specialist, the report sets out 26 high-level principles for enhancing the transparency of internet companies. The EuroDIG presentation was the first in a series of consultations to be organized throughout the year to finalize the principles and develop an operational framework that can guide the work of regulators, policymakers and companies.

Constance Bommelaer, from Internet Society (ISOC), expressed ISOC’ strong support at national and international levels and highlighted that the values embedded in the ROAM principles and indicators are in line with the Society’s mandate and work. Dorothy Gordon, Chair of UNESCO’s Information for All Programme (IFAP), reaffirmed the continued commitment to enhancing the implementation of ROAM principles and indicators via the IFAP Programme.

Xianhong Hu, UNESCO focal point for ROAM-X, stressed that the national assessment of ROAM-X indicators is a rolling process, leading to regular updates and improvements of digital policies, and informed that national assessments are increasingly being conducted. They are currently ongoing in 22 countries, with the recent inception of the project in Argentina, and will soon count on six additional initiatives, financed through grants provided in the the 65th IPDC Bureau meeting to assess Internet development in Cote d’Ivoire, Cabo Verde, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Mongolia and Kazakhstan.

EuroDIG Day-0 event participants agreed to seek out opportunities to strengthen collaboration with non-governmental stakeholders and the private sector through the Dynamic Coalition, as their participation could contribute to advancing and shaping Internet governance, in Europe and beyond.

 

 

 

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