Denmark has become the latest country to join the Freedom Online Coalition (FOC), a group of governments committed to working together to support Internet freedom and protect fundamental human rights, including the rights to freedom of expression, association, assembly, as well as privacy online worldwide. The Coalition announced Denmark as its 32nd Member in a statement issued early in June 2020.
According to the coalition, over the years, Denmark has been an active participant in Internet-related discussions and debates, and a fervent advocate for multistakeholder Internet governance, human rights, and press freedom.
It noted that Denmark is a signatory of several international treaties and a co-sponsor of several international resolutions, which relate to the FOC’s mission, adding that recently, Denmark launched an initiative to protect civic space and support human rights defenders, including strengthening the country’s digital resilience.
The coalition recalled that in 2017, Denmark became the first country in the world to appoint a tech ambassador, with a global mandate that includes the protection and promotion of human rights online, adding that through this ‘TechPlomacy’ initiative, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark works closely with partners both abroad and in Denmark to promote a responsible, balanced and human-centred approach to technology.
It said: “By joining the Coalition, Denmark endorses the FOC’s founding declaration and the commitments contained in it.”
The Danish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Jeppe Kofod, stated that “We have an obligation to ensure that the ideals of the early days of the Internet remain our guiding principles going forward. The Internet must remain our common forum for sharing ideas and knowledge. A vibrant, safe and inclusive global platform. That is our shared vision. However, for too many, that vision is far removed from reality when Internet access and services are used as tools of censorship, persecution and oppression.”
The Minister pledged that “With the FOC, I look forward to continuing our common fight for a free Internet-based on core principles of universal human rights, freedom of expression, association and assembly as well as the right to privacy and freedom from oppression and discrimination. I am therefore pleased that Denmark has now joined the FOC and we look forward to working together in this ambitious coalition to promote human rights online.”
The FOC said it was delighted to welcome Denmark to the Coalition and was looking forward to working together to support Internet freedom worldwide.
Established in 2011 at the inaugural Freedom Online Conference held in The Hague, the Netherlands, at the initiative of the Dutch Foreign Ministry, the Coalition currently has members from Africa, Asia, Europe, the Americas, and the Middle East.