Welcome to the United Nations | Department of Economic and Social Affairs

DC Meetings 2008



Network Neutrality is an appealing and multifaceted expression which encompasses several areas and may give rise to misinterpretations. At its core, the notion of network-neutrality determines the extent to which Internet traffic management practices may be regarded as legitimate, insofar as they do not restrict end-users’ access to content, applications and services in a discriminatory fashion and can deemed as consistent with the full enjoyment of human-rights.


It is estimated that the Internet consumes up to one trillion kilowatt hours of electricity per year, amounting to around 5 per cent of the world’s total electricity consumption. More than half of this figure comes from PCs, laptops and screens, but data centres are also a major contributor. Although it is difficult to be precise, it is clear that this figure is growing, especially as Internet use expands in the developing world. More efficient energy use can reduce these numbers significantly, but there is a need to raise user awareness.

Furthermore, a globally-connected, broadband Internet can generate savings in terms of encouraging flexible work patterns, travel substitution and supply-chain optimization.


The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) established a Dynamic Coalition on Accessibility and Disability. The initial terms of references for the group are detailed below. Andrea Saks (ITU/TDI Telecommunications for the Deaf Inc.) welcomed the proposal and volunteered to coordinate this effort.


Users of telecommunications and information technology have a varied capability of handling information and the controls of their presentation. The source of this variation lies in cultural and educational backgrounds, as well as on age-related functional limitations, in disabilities, and in other natural causes.


 More and more children and young people globally are becoming digital citizens, accessing the internet to learn, communicate and play. While the internet can be a wonderfully positive tool for them, it also exposes them to risks, and therefore need to be addressed at global, regional and national levels to ensure all children can benefit safely from the opportunities that internet and associated technologies can bring .

Whether the aim is to protect children from potentially harmful content, conduct or contact or to disrupt  the production and distribution of child sexual abuse images and videos as well as other forms of sexual abuse and exploitation through the misuse of technologies, these challenges transcend borders and require the involvement of all relevant stakeholders across sectors to address them adequately.

Given the number of internet users who are below the age of majority world wide ,the members of the Dynamic Coalition on  Child Online Safety,  believe in the importance of advocating for and positioning the above-mentioned issues within the agenda of the internet Governance Forum by providing an open platform for discussion ensuring dialogue among representatives from children's organizations, government, industry, academia and other civil society groups, including those made up of young people themselves. This is reflected by the wide variety of its members  and through concrete outcomes which were inputted by a large number of the DC members such as  the UNICEF -ITU Industry guidelines for COP.



Women, as one of the fundamental stakeholders in the information society, play a very crucial role. It is important for the IGF to fully integrate gender concerns in its work. The three sectors with the IGF's defining feature of mutistakeholderism are not monolithis, unitary and consistent actors. Greater efforts have to be to ensure that women's diverse perspectives are brought to the forefront in each stakeholder group. Ultimately, a rights based approach to Internet governance is the only safeguard for women to fully enjoy the benefits of the Internet.

Access to the Internet is extremely important for women to be able to gain information which may not be available to them otherwise. This will also facilitate them to achieve full realisation of their rights, especially in case of those from the marginalised communities. The Internet can also function as the harbinger of citizenship rights, bridging their right to be informed with the duty of the governance institutions to inform.


The 2003 WSIS Geneva Declaration on Principles reaffirms "as an essential foundation of the Information Society, and as outlined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, that everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; that this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. Communication is a fundamental social process, a basic human need and the foundation of all social organization. It is central to the Information Society. Everyone, everywhere should have the opportunity to participate and no one should be excluded from the benefits the Information Society offers."



The Internet Rights and Principles Dynamic Coalition is an open network of individuals and organisations based at the UN Internet Governance Forum (IGF) committed to making human rights and principles work for the online environment.

Since the 2009 IGF in Sharm El Sheikh we have been working to outline how human rights standards should be interpreted to apply to the Internet environment, and the internet policy principles which must be upheld in order to create an environment which supports human rights to the maximum extent possible.

The main work of the Internet Rights and Principles Coalition (IRP Coalition) has been to translate existing human rights to the internet environment to build awareness, understanding and a shared platform for mobilisation around rights and principles for the internet.

Our flagship document, the Charter of Human Rights and Principles for the Internet covers the whole gambit of human rights drawing on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other covenants that make up the International Bill of Human Rights at the United Nations (http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Pages/WhatareHumanRights. aspx). It is the outcome of work from many people and organizations over the years and is growing in stature as others start to apply its 23 clauses to specific situations. 

To get more directly involved you are welcome to join the IRP Mailing list:  

Feel free to contact us at:  info[at]irpcharter.org