IGF 2021 DC-IUI UNESCO's call to all stakeholders to support ROAM and the DC

Thursday, 9th December, 2021 (08:30 UTC) - Thursday, 9th December, 2021 (10:00 UTC)
Conference Room 8

Dynamic Coalition on Internet Universality Indicators

Round Table - U-shape - 90 Min


Defining universal and meaningful access: What are the key elements that constitute universal and meaningful Internet access? How can it be measured? How is the concept evolving in time and what does this evolution mean for policy?


UNESCO is organizing a 1.5-hour  session on the Dynamic Coalition on  Internet Universality ROAM-X Indicators  (IUIs)  at  IGF  2021  to engage with  all countries  and all stakeholders  worldwide  to promote  free, open and accessible Internet for all  and provide a space for multi-stakeholder dialogue and collaboration  through the new Dynamic Coalition on IUIs. 

UNESCO’s Internet Universality indicators aim to assess levels of achievement, in individual countries, of the four fundamental ROAM principles included in the concept of ‘Internet Universality’ which advocates for an Internet that is based on human Rights (R), that is Open (O), Accessible to all (A) and nurtured by Multistakeholder participation (M).   

Thus, based  on its deep engagement with IGF community in the past 15 years, UNESCO  seeks   to  engage extensive  partnership with  IGF  community  via  the newly launched  Dynamic  Coalition  of IUIs, so as to  join  forces  for  advancing  evidence-based policy making of Internet governance  and  fostering  digital collaboration  in line with  UN SG’s roadmap of digital cooperation.  
The Dynamic Coalition  event will trigger discussion  among all members of Dynamic coalition and encourage all stakeholders  in the below  themes:   

  1. To exchange how the Dynamic Coalition of ROAM-X  and its members/partners could support Internet Universality project  and  enhance  collaborations of national multi-stakeholder  for  advancing human rights online  and digital cooperation at  national, regional and global levels.     

  2. What the Dynamic Coalition  of ROAM-X  is supposed to  offer  and how to improve the implementation  of IUIs:  regular exchanges of good practices, lessons learned among national actors, virtual and physical  trainings  and  facilitating  the data collection and methodology  as well as the implementation of  recommendations    

  3. How to encourage the IGF community and stakeholders participation in the Dynamic Coalition  and  raise interest from  more countries and stakeholders to conduct voluntary assessment of  Internet Universality Indicators  to advance human rights in digital age.   

This session  will allow  UNESCO to present how Internet Universality foster the national sustainable development and how the Dynamic Coalition of IUIs can empower stakeholders  and experts  as a shared space  to  foster  the  development  of  their national digital and social environments via the national assessment of Internet Universality Indicators. 

It will be a hybrid session to maximize the interaction  on-site  and also  remotely with online participants. UNESCO will provide on-site and online moderators to ensure the interaction. 

Useful links: 


Xianhong Hu, UNESCO, International Organization

Karen Landa, UNESCO, International Organization

Co-organizors:  UNESCO and members of IGF Dynamic Coalition of Internet Universality ROAM-X indicators project  

  • Tawfik Jelassi, UNESCO's Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information(ADG/CI),
  • Dr. Lutz Möller, Deputy Secretary General, German Commission for UNESCO 
  • Anriette  Estherhuysen, IGF MAG Chair and former Executive Director of APC  
  • Constance  Bommelaer, Area Vice President, Institutional Relations and Empowerment, Internet Society 
  • Suada Hadzovic, GAC HRIL WG Co-Chair - ICANN-GAC 
  • Alexandre Barbosa, Head of CETIC 
  • Dorothy Gordon, UNESCO’s IFAP Chair 
  • Jan  Kleissen, Council of Europe, International Organization  
  • Dr. Courtney Radsch, Co-chair of DC-Sustainability and GFMD's Tech Policy Specialist 
  • Tomasz Komorowski, Polish Commission for UNESCO 
  • Dawit Bekele, Regional Vice President – Africa, Internet Society Africa   
  • Anja Gengo, Internet Governance Forum Secretariat and NRIs 
  • Kossi Amessinou, African ICT Foundation 
  • Marielza Oliveira, UNESCO Director for Partnerships and Operational Programme Monitoring
Onsite Moderator

Xianhong Hu

Online Moderator

Karen Landa


Karen Landa


4. Quality Education
5. Gender Equality
10. Reduced Inequalities
16. Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
17. Partnerships for the Goals

Targets: This session will allow UNESCO to present how Internet Universality foster the national sustainable development and how the Dynamic Coalition of IUIs can empower stakeholders and experts as a shared space to foster the development of their national digital and social environments via the national assessment of Internet Universality Indicators. The implementation process of Internet Universality will particularly tackle the structural issues to share knowledge, lessons learned and good practices for the completion  of the Goals 4,5, 10, 16 and 17  of  the  2 030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals.   

Key Takeaways (* deadline 2 hours after session)

Based on its deep engagement with IGF community in the past 15 years, international partners and members of the coalition shared their inputs on relevance of ROAM-X in global digital governance and way forward to improve the DC to enhance the global implementation of IUIs. The DC is a tool that must provide “brutally honest” evidence to empower stakeholders and experts as a shared space fostering the development of social and digital environments

The Dynamic Coalition on IUIs can be improved through multistakeholder participation. The DC is an extremely important part of the process in terms of capacity building: UNESCO and the members of DC should exploit the capacity-building opportunities by promoting and fostering true multistakeholder engagement in order to tackle new challenges and give concrete responses to the SDGs.

Call to Action (* deadline 2 hours after session)

International stakeholders are strongly encouraged to share their lessons learned and good practices annually. By being a shared space for stakeholders to share their key outcomes, the Coalition as a platform should promote capacity-building to help the processes and the formulation of powerful recommendations by extracting the lessons learned from every ongoing or completed study while identifying common approaches and processes.

In order to strengthen the Coalition, all stakeholders of the IGF community were invited to engage and join the Dynamic Coalition to support the Internet Universality ROAM-X project and enhance collaborations of national multistakeholder for advancing human rights online and digital cooperation at national, regional and global levels. UNESCO must find active synergies not only with external partners but also within their networks.

Session Report (* deadline 26 October) - click on the ? symbol for instructions

On 9 December 2021, UNESCO convened a hybrid meeting with all stakeholders of the Dynamic Coalition (DC) on Internet Universality ROAM-X Indicators (IUIs) at the Internet Governance Forum 2021 in Katowice, Poland. The meeting reinforced and expanded the global partnership for promoting human rights-based, open, accessible and inclusive Internet via multi-stakeholder dialogue and digital cooperation. 

In his opening remarks, Dr. Tawfik Jelassi, UNESCO’s Assistant-Director General for Communication and Information, stated: “With the support of the IGF community and its Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) chair, UNESCO  launched  the Dynamic Coalition on Internet Universality ROAM-X indicators at IGF 2020. The Coalition facilitates advocacy, knowledge sharing and capacity building, so that countries can assess how well their digital ecosystems align to UNESCO’s ROAM principles, and implement recommendations to harness the potential of the Internet and of advanced technologies to promote achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”

Showcasing the newly-launched national assessment of IUIs in Germany, Dr. Lutz Möller, Deputy Secretary-General of the German National Commission for UNESCO, stated: “The national assessment of Internet Universality Indicators is a tool that provides ‘brutally honest’ evidence, empowering stakeholders and experts to foster the development of their national digital and social environments”.

“The ROAM-X framework serves a holistic framework for uniting the Internet. It contributes to implementing the United Nations Secretary-General’s Roadmap of Digital Cooperation, and to creating a global Digital Compact” pointed out Anriette Estherhuysen, IGF MAG Chair. She stressed that the call for an “Internet United” aims to translate key principles into policymaking and practice, which can be facilitated through the implementation of the ROAM principles and indicators.

Constance Bommelaer, Internet Society’s Area Vice President, Institutional Relations and Empowerment, and Dawit Bekele, Internet Society Africa’s Regional Vice President, underlined synergies that exist between ROAM and ISOC’s work, on topics such as openness and meaningful access. They both reiterated her support of the national assessment of IUIs through ISOC’s various regional chapters, in Africa and beyond.  

Dorothy Gordon, UNESCO’s Information for All Programme (IFAP) Chair, affirmed IFAP's willingness to engage with the IGF community on Internet governance issues. She stated: “Good policy is based on evidence and knowledge-sharing. The IUIs assessments allow us to pull out lessons learned, and to create capacity building opportunities, by fostering multistakeholder engagement through the Dynamic Coalition on IUIs.”

Representing the Council of Europe, Jan Kleijssen, explained that the Council’s engagement in the Dynamic Coalition sparked from the Internet Universality Indicators project being in line with the Council of Europe’s standards. He especially highlighted the 2016 Recommendation on Internet Freedom made by CoE’s Committee of Ministers, which can be used as a means of verification in the assessment of compliance with Internet Universality Indicators. 

Alexandre Barbosa and Suada Hadzovic, respectively representing the Regional Center for Studies of the Development of the Information Society (CETIC.br) and ICANN’s Government Advisory Committee’s (GAC) Working Group on Human Rights and International Law (HRILWG), reflected on how the Internet Universality ROAM-X indicators have become a reference for Member States to assess their digital landscapes. They posited that the DC should build capacities of stakeholders involved in IUI assessments, to support formulation of actionable recommendations that lead to concrete Internet reforms.

Mira Milosevic, from the Global Forum for Media Development, Tomasz Komorowski from the Polish National Commission for UNESCO, Anja Gengo from the Internet Governance Forum Secretariat and NRIs, and Kossi Amessinou of the African ICT Foundation, underlined the relevance of the ROAM framework as an evidence base to underpin advocacy for stronger uptake of human rights online as well as for digital cooperation.

Participants were unanimous in pointing out the importance of multistakeholder participation, particularly of national governments as duty bearers, both in the Coalition and in national assessments. A richer range of perspectives enables closer and deeper collaboration towards transforming digital ecosystems.

In her closing statement, Dr. Marielza Oliveira, UNESCO’s Director for Partnerships and Operational Programme Monitoring in the Communications and Information Sector, raised three points. First, with more countries conducting IUIs assessments, regional and global aggregate views become possible, potentially leading to regional and global policy recommendations. Second, she highlighted the importance of funding not only individual national reports, but also capacity development, data collection guidance, quality assurance, aggregate analytics, and other elements from which all countries can benefit.

Finally, she  invited all stakeholders to join the Dynamic Coalition, concluding that: “Multistakeholder participation is the key to make the ROAM-X project move forward. So let us all join efforts to further mainstream the universal ROAM principles and apply ROAM-X indicators worldwide. These principles were designed to promote human rights and digital inclusion, so that the Internet can truly serve a as public good, leaving no one behind.”

Related links: