Mongolia will play host to the fifth annual Freedom Online Conference (FOC) scheduled to be held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, on May 4 and 5, 2015. Mongolia is the current Freedom Online Coalition Chair. Previously held by the Netherlands, Kenya, Tunisia, and most recently Estonia, the chairmanship of the Freedom Online Coalition has been passed on to Mongolia.
The FOC holds a multistakeholder conference once a year that aims to deepen the discussion on how freedom of expression on the Internet is helping to promote social, cultural and economic development.
At the annual Freedom Online Conference held in Tallinn, Estonia the Mongolian Foreign Minister, Mr. Luvsanvandan Bold, confirmed his country as the first Asian member to chair the Coalition. FOC member states unanimously welcomed Mongolia as the incoming chair and expressed their support for the next annual Conference to be held in Ulaanbaatar on said dates.
The Conference again hopes to bring together a diverse group of relevant stakeholders as Freedom Online Conferences offer a unique opportunity to advance discussions on rights and freedoms online in a multistakeholder fashion.
The conference seeks to offer an open platform for discussion among all stakeholders – governments, civil society, the private sector, and others – to share relevant information, develop joint strategies and combine efforts towards their mutual goal of a human rights based Internet. It also offers a space for civil society to discuss issues of concern and share their perspectives on an equal footing with key governments.
The Coalition provides funding packages aimed at encouraging civil society action in this regard. It is particularly targeted at civil society participants from the global South, and the region in which the respective conference is taking place.
The Theme for this Conference is “Internet Policy Making – Best Practices for Promoting Online Freedom.” The Conference hopes to explore topics under this theme including governments affecting the availability, use, and utility of the Internet in many ways – whether through action or inaction.
The Conference will also critically look at many developing countries in the process of working through how to approach various aspects of Internet policy-making, and many middle-income and developed countries are constantly revising and reformulating their policies in response to technological and other developments.
The 2015 Freedom Online Conference to be hosted by the Government of Mongolia, will focus on discussing ways in which governments around the world, including young democracies and countries in the developing world, can structure their policy making processes and approaches in order to maximize the realization of human rights online within their jurisdiction.
There will be panels and discussions that focus on issues such as rule-of-law, transparency, the Tallinn Agenda (for Freedom Online) implementation, and how to maximize non-governmental stakeholder input and participation in government policy making.