Home / News & Speeches / ICC underlines business views on UNESCO Internet study

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) expressed perspectives from business regarding UNESCO’s latest draft Internet study at the CONNECTing the Dots conference in Paris on 3-4 March.

The Internet study addresses issues relating to UNESCO’s vision for a knowledge society and puts forward perspectives and options on the following topics: access to information and knowledge, freedom of expression, privacy and ethics.

Ilham Habibie, Chair of ICC Business Action to Support the Information Society (BASIS) and members joined government, civil society representatives, academics and technical community experts at the event in Paris.

Participants discussed options for action presented in the UNESCO study report and developed an outcome statement for UNESCO to put forward at the 196th session of UNESCO’s Executive Board during its April 2015 meetings.

This action will form part of UNESCO’s contribution to the WSIS+10 review process, taking place towards the end of 2015, 10 years after the original United Nations World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), and to the post-2015 international development agenda.

Access to the Internet in developing countries is the crucial starting point for ICT innovations to enable UNESCO’s vision of Internet-enabled knowledge societies.

ICC BASIS worked with members to provide consistent business input. Mr Habibie gave opening remarks following the opening speech of UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova and the opening statement of Mohamed Sameh Amr, Chair, Executive Board of UNESCO. Ellen Blacker, Walt Disney Company Vice-President, Global Public Policy, represented ICC BASIS on a coordinating committee of stakeholders selected to review the input leading to the final Outcome statement.

“Access to the Internet in developing countries is the crucial starting point for ICT innovations to enable UNESCO’s vision of Internet-enabled knowledge societies,” said Mr Habibie, also Chair of DeTIKNas and The National Information and Communication Technology Council in Indonesia.

“UNESCO could encourage governments to work together with business to develop policies and practices to maximize freedom of expression and the free flow of information over the Internet and to minimize trade and investment barriers,” he added.

Mr Habibie was also a panelist on the second day of the conference in a high-level multistakeholder panel discussion on UNESCO’s role in relation to key stakeholders of the Internet ecosystem. The panel discussed online access to information and knowledge, freedom of expression, privacy and ethical dimensions of information and knowledge societies.

BASIS, which ICC launched in 2006 after the first WSIS, advocates policy positions prepared by the ICC Commission on the Digital Economy. ICC BASIS and its cross-sectoral membership of businesses and associations from around the world have been active contributors at summits in Geneva and Tunis and in the post-WSIS processes and forums since.

Learn more about the ICC Commission on Digital Economy.

For further information, please contact

  • Andreia FURTADO
  • + 33 (0)1 49 53 30 72
  • Coordinator, Media Relations and Web