WOUGNET at the Stockholm Internet Forum
The Stockholm Internet Forum under the theme Internet Freedom for Global Development, has been co-organised by the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Internet Infrastructure Foundation (.SE) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), bringing together some 250 delegates from across the world to the beautiful city by the lake.
The Internet, being the only global digital network, contributes to global development. A key condition for this is access to networks that are robust, secure and affordable. Therefore, equal and universal access should be the overarching aim. There are already many examples of how people have lifted themselves out of poverty thanks to new information technology, and this is only the beginning.
In recent years, the paramount importance of keeping the Internet open and free from censorship has become obvious. The open Internet as a space where people have the power to express themselves freely is not only a facilitator for citizen participation governance, but also important for innovation and development in a broad sense.
Several international initiatives have focused on bringing freedom and openness firmly into processes shaping Internet policy. Recent examples include work in the UN Human Rights Council and the Internet Governance Forum. Such initiatives have been complemented by concerted efforts to bring the corporate world into this work as well. This work relies on a multi-stakeholder approach, which means that the active engagement of civil society is crucial, and WOUGNET continues to actively contribute in this space and is honoured to be recognised for this effort with an invitation from the Swedish Foreign Affairs Ministry to participate at this forum.