UNESCO Meeting Sends Clear Message: Keep the Internet Free and Open

Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs Esther Brimmer delivers remarks at the WSIS+10 Ministerial Panel in Paris, France, February 25, 2013. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

About the Author: David Killion serves as U.S. Ambassador to UNESCO.

The Internet is so much a part of our lives these days it can come as a surprise to learn how much Internet freedom is at threat around the world. Fortunately, Internet freedom received a major boost at UNESCO last week, thanks to the efforts of the United States and other likeminded participants at the first review meeting of the “World Summit on Information Society” (WSIS), called WSIS+10.

As U.S. Ambassador to UNESCO, I joined Assistant Secretary for International Organization Affairs Esther Brimmer to lead the U.S. delegation at UNESCO’s WSIS+10. This review meeting brought together governments, private companies, civil society groups and individual experts to discuss a whole range of Internet-related issues, from cyber-security to e-learning, and press freedom to e-business. The United States… more »

Conversations With America: Addressing Global Challenges at the UN

Cheryl Benton, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, will moderate the

Esther Brimmer, Assistant Secretary of State for International Organizations, will hold a conversation with Stewart Patrick, Senior Fellow and Director of the International Institutions and Global Governance Program at the Council on Foreign Relations, and Heather Hurlburt, Executive Director of the National Security Network, on Addressing Global Challenges at the UN. The discussion will be moderated by Cheryl Benton, Deputy… more »

Freedom of Expression: A Cornerstone of Democracy

Dr. Esther Brimmer, Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs, participates in an interview with a journalist in Tunis, Tunisia, May 3, 2012. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

About the Author: Dr. Esther Brimmer serves as Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs.

Freedom of expression is a cornerstone to any thriving democracy.

This idea came to life while I spent three days at UNESCO’s World Press Freedom Day in Tunisia, where I had the opportunity to listen to and engage with journalists, bloggers, and citizen activists from across the Middle East and North Africa and beyond.

I arrived May 3 in Tunis to deliver remarks at Tunisia’s Presidential Palace to a crowd of more than 400 in attendance, and thousands more watching virtually. The audience welcomed video… more »