UNESCO Stands Strong for Protecting Data and Privacy Protection

To tackle the tremendous risks presented by the massive use of data and emerging technologies, particularly in the context of UNESCO’s mandates and the UN Reform agenda, UNESCO stands strong and re-affirms its support of the UN Principles on Personal Data Protection & Privacy.

These Principles were developed and finalized by the inter-agency UN Privacy Policy Group (PPG) consisting of 30 UN agencies, over a course of two years. UNESCO has joined and contributed to the PPG since the UN Global Pulse initiated in late 2016, in line with its global mandate of promoting Internet Universality ROAM framework (human Rights, Openness, Access, Multi-stakeholder).

These Principles aim to:

  • harmonize standards for the protection of personal data across the UN System;
  • facilitate the accountable processing of personal data for the purposes of implementing the mandates of the United Nations System Organizations; and
  • ensure respect for the human rights and fundamental freedoms of individuals, in particular the right to privacy.

These Privacy Principles have high relevance in view of the increasing recognition by the Member States of the role that the protection of the right to privacy plays in utilizing data and technology for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals.

These principles offer a common approach to data privacy across the UN System Organizations in facilitating more efficient collaboration and data flows among the UN organizations, which in turn will lead towards a better United Nations, delivering as one, and the successful implementation of the SDGs.

UNESCO thus stands strong to promote these Principles globally and within the Organization and has a particular mandate in education and capacity building dimension. Privacy and personal data protection are part of the Digital Skills UNESCO promotes. At the institutional level, UNESCO has already agreed to integrate these Principles into UNESCO policy, with further guidelines being developed for the Organization to protect personal data and privacy in carrying out its mandate and daily work.