Internet Governance Forum

Last week, the 13th Internet Governance Forum was hosted in Paris, France.  This year’s theme was “Internet of Trust” and was quite a timely topic seeing that the conference was held the same week as the 100-year celebration of Armistice Day. I found the panel titled, “WS80 Hack the Hate: Empower Society to Face Hate Speech-RAW,” to be extremely fascinating seeing the prevalence of hate speech in our world today.  This 90-minute session addressed important policy issues and operational responses like:

  • Hate speech regulations and “the grey area”
  • The complementary approach between States initiatives, platforms, and civil society’s involvement; and
  • Digital literacy.

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Opportunities and Limitations in Global Strategic Frameworks

The Millennium Development Goals were established at the Millennium Summitof the United Nations in 2000. At the summit, eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were established, forming an internationally agreed upon blueprint for solving the world’s most pressing issues.  The eight goals were

  1. Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger
  2. Achieve Universal Primary Education
  3. Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women
  4. Reduce Child Mortality
  5. Improve Maternal Health
  6. Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria, and other Diseases
  7. Ensure Environmental Sustainability
  8. Global Partnership for Development

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Multistakeholder Internet Governance and the Digital Divide

When speaking about internet governance, the multi-stakeholder approach is known to work most effectively. This is because multi-stakeholder decision-making is accountable, sustainable, and inclusive.  The multi-stakeholder model can be described as one where individuals and organizations from different realms participate alongside each other to share and develop ideas and consensus policy. The Internet Society describes that the multi-stakeholder approach is widely accepted as the optimal way to make policy decisions for a globally allocated network such as the internet.  This is revealed through declarations, resolutions, and practices international organizations.

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ICTs and Inclusive Sustainable Development

Can you imagine living in a world without access to a telephone or the internet? Neither can I.  We live in a completely interconnected, globalized world where communication across boundaries is a key aspect of development.  However, not everyone has equal access to the tools needed to allow this communication to happen.  Reports such as The International Telecommunication Union’s, “The Missing Link”and the NTIA’s “Falling through the Net” shed light on this issue of limited ICT availability in rural and poor communities.  Continue reading

Inclusive Education

Article 24 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities outlines the international legal framework regarding disability education.  This article on the right to education emphasizes the rights to inclusive education and importantly prohibits any forms of disability-based discrimination in the education system.  As discussed in class, students with disabilities are some of the most vulnerable individuals and have been historically excluded from educational opportunities at all levels.  Continue reading

Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction and the Sendai Framework

Two of the most pressing questions of today are, how do you plan for natural disasters and how do you build back better after one occurs? The vast majority of disasters are linked to high-impact weather events caused by climate change.  The core areas of disaster risk reduction (DRR) work includes climate change adaptation, building disaster resilient cities, schools, and hospitals, and strengthening investment for DRR internationally.  Continue reading

The World Urban Forum

The World Urban Forum (WUF), established by the UN General Assembly in 2001 as a bi-annual event, examines pressing issues facing the world today regarding human settlements and the impact that rapid urbanization has on cities, communities, economics, and climate change.  According to the UNDP, by 2050 more than two-thirds of the world’s population is projected to be living in urban areas. Building sustainable and inclusive cities is one of the world’s most pertinent issues. Continue reading