Freedom Online Coalition Launches the Ottawa Agenda

Mélanie Joly
Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs,

Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ms Mélanie Joly, on January 25, 2023, announced the launch of the Freedom Online Coalition’s (FOC) Ottawa Agenda, a new set of recommendations that reflect the evolution of the Coalition’s vision and scope of work since its inception in 2011. The document is intended to forge a pathway forward for the promotion of Internet freedom in the coming decade.

The Ottawa Agenda recommendations underscore the FOC’s collective vision of democracy in the digital age, through the lens of digital inclusion, whereby informed and engaged societies can participate meaningfully and equitably in all aspects of society, both online and offline. Its launch coincides with the conclusion of Canada’s chairship of the FOC.

Canada led the development of the Ottawa Agenda as Chair of the FOC in 2022, with input from Coalition Members, Advisory Network representatives, and external stakeholders through domestic and regional consultations. The regional consultations, held in North America, Latin America, Europe, Middle East & North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Asia-Pacific, invited civil society, academia, media and industry representatives to make input into the drafting process by sharing regional and sub-regional insight into the pressing challenges and opportunities associated with digital technologies and the Internet.

The publication of the Ottawa Agenda followed a year of action in 2022 rooted in multilateralism and multi-stakeholder engagement to counter the greatest digital threats to human rights worldwide.

The United States assumes the Chairship of the FOC in 2023 and with this change of leadership, Coalition Members continue their commitment to strengthen digital inclusion and to promote and protect fundamental freedoms both online and offline globally, as outlined in the 2023 Programme of Action.

Text of the Ottawa Agenda document can be downloaded in English via the following link: The Ottawa Agenda: Recommendations for Freedom Online.