Idag har jag hållit anförande om vikten av yttrandefrihet på Internet inför generalförsamlingen i IPU. Bifogar här anförandet.
28th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, Quito, 22-27 March 2013
First Standing Committee: Speech by Ms Ulrika Karlsson
The use of media, including social media, to enhance citizen engagement and democracy
Madam Chair/Mr Chairman, colleague parliamentarians,
It is most important to protect the human rights on the internet, to protect freedom of speech. We have an ongoing debate in Sweden in which the Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt is in forefront to advocate that the human rights should be respected offline as well as online. We must all realize that internet is a powerful source of information and a useful tool in strengthening democracy in the world.
I am glad to see that the UN Human Rights Council Resolution has been included in the draft resolution of this committee, partly as a result of the points that Sweden pushed during our debates in Quebec.
Despite of the excellent job of the rapporteurs, I believe there are still some important points missing in the resolution. First of all, we need to actively secure that a free, open and accessible Internet is a fundamental human right all over the world, and as we all know the fundamental human rights includes all women and men on this earth.
Secondly we need to actively support and protect journalists and social media users, including bloggers. Therefore bloggers need to be included in the resolution.
Thirdly we need to protect the freedom of expression and freedom of speech to secure journalists’ possibility to work scrutinizing, through traditional media as well as social media, and thereby enhance democracy.
Today, rapidly 90 % of Earth’s land mass has been covered by mobile systems. This is a fantastic opportunity and the trend goes in the right direction. However, some countries are going in the wrong direction in terms of censoring information.
Legislations and regulations is not always the right thing.
It is important that online safety measures do not undermine or limit the freedom of expression. Internet should be opened and accessible to all citizens.
One core issue is the access. It is important to mention that access concerns both the physical – the hardware – and the access to the content. Censorship and regulations threatens the freedom of expression and the open society that we all want to achieve – and protect.
Countries should have the will and the power to protect an uncensored, opened and accessible internet. This is fundamental for citizen engagement and to strengthen democracy across the world. Experiences and lessons learned from the Arabic Spring show us the importance of Internet and Social Media which gives us truer knowledge about the reality for citizens in totalitarian States. Voices, of for example the young generation, women and men, that otherwise never would be heard can now start groundbreaking revolutions and movements.
We parliamentarians do have the power to lead the fight for all people’s rights to communicate freely and securely on the internet.
Thank you for listening.