Registration Opens for UNESCO Global Conference to Shape Digital Platform Regulation

Director General of UNESCO

Registration is now open for intending participants in global conference to shape digital platform regulation being organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). The conference is scheduled to hold at the UNESCO  Headquarters in Paris, France, from February 21 to 23, 2023.

The conference will bring together ministers, regulators, judicial actors, the private sector, the UN family, civil society, academia, intergovernmental organizations and the technical community from around the world.

The event and the leadup to the conference will offer a forum for multistakeholder consultations of a model regulatory framework for platforms to secure information as a public good, while protecting freedom of expression and other human rights.

The Conference is being held against the background that the internet and social media have empowered societies with enormous opportunities for people to communicate, engage and learn. However, digital platforms have also been used as vectors for disinformation, hate speech, conspiracy theories and other content potentially harmful to democracy and human rights but current regulatory systems have yet to catch up with these challenges.

Registration is mandatory for all participants and is open until February 17, 2023. Please Register Here.

In the leadup to the global conference, UNESCO is conducting multistakeholder consultations to co-create a model regulatory framework to guide states and companies in managing content that may cause harm to democracy and human rights, while securing information as a public good.

The proposed model co-regulatory framework can:

  • Act as a guide to regulators, governments, legislatures and companies around the world when they are developing, enforcing or implementing regulation to manage content online.
  • Serve as a tool for civil society for holding governments and companies accountable to their commitments and for advocating for a regulatory system that safeguards freedom of expression.

The aim of the multistakeholder consultations is to collectively define the principles and means of content moderation, while respecting human rights and, in particular, freedom of expression. Identifying this as the challenge facing regulators around the world and, to support them in this task, UNESCO launched a series of consultations with Member States, representatives of the technology sector and the agencies of the United Nations system.

Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO Director-General contends that: “The ability to cause large-scale disinformation and undermine scientifically established facts is an existential risk to humanity. While vigorously defending the right to freedom of expression everywhere, we must equally encourage societies to develop a common, empirically backed consensus on the public good of facts, science and knowledge.”

For more information about the model regulatory framework and its co-development, please click here.