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Special initiatives and events

Broadband Commission

The establishment of the Broadband Commission for Digital Development in 2010 came five years after the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), and ten years after the launch of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The Broadband Commission for Digital Development believes that high-speed, high-capacity broadband connections to the Internet are an essential element in modern society, with wide economic and social benefits. Its mission is to promote the adoption of broadband-friendly practices and policies so that the entire world can take advantage of the benefits that broadband can offer.

Expanding broadband access in every county is the key to accelerating the attainment of both the WSIS and the MDG targets by 2015. Among other working groups of the Broadband Commission, the working group on multilingualism looks at the issue of language as one of the most critical for the achievement of all eight development objectives of the Millennium. The populations that are most in need are those that have not yet entered the digital culture, in many cases due to the digital language divide.

The working group uses the conclusions of the World Summit on the Information Society, UNESCO normative instruments  (in particular, the 2003 Recommendation concerning the Promotion and Use of Multilingualism and Universal Access to Cyberspace), results of international meetings on multilingualism, and the conclusions of the International Forum of Bamako on Multilingualism, as a basis for its work.

UNESCO hosted the first meeting of the working group on multilingualism on 5 June 2011.

World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)

Cultural and linguistic diversity (WSIS Action Line C8), while stimulating respect for cultural identity, traditions and religions, is essential to the development of an Information Society based on the dialogue among cultures and regional and international cooperation. It is an important factor for sustainable development.

Internet Governance Forum (IGF)

The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) resulted in the creation of the multistakeholder Internet Governance Forum – an annual forum in which international agencies, governments, Internet professionals, business and civil society organizations can explore, on equal footing, the development on the Internet and its interaction with other area of public policy.

Previous initiatives

Initiative B@bel uses Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to support linguistic and cultural diversity on the Internet, and to protect and preserve languages in danger of disappearance.

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