Advancing Internet Freedom in Asia-Pacific via applying UNESCO’s Internet Universality ROAM Principles and Indicators

Part 1 - Lead Organizer


Contact Person

Xianhong Hu

Organization / Affiliation (Please state "Individual" if appropriate)



Programme Specialist



Economy of Residence


Primary Stakeholder Group

Intergovernmental Organizations


Part 2 - Session Proposal

Your proposal is for

Main Conference (Day 1-3)

Session Title

Advancing Internet Freedom in Asia-Pacific via applying UNESCO’s Internet Universality ROAM Principles and Indicators


Inclusion Trust

Session Format

Panel Discussion

Where do you plan to organize your session?

Official host Kathmandu, Nepal

Specific Issues for Discussion

UNESCO’s Internet Universality indicators aim to assess levels of achievement, in individual countries, of the four fundamental ROAM principles included in the concept of ‘Internet Universality’ which advocates for an Internet that is based on human Rights (R), that is Open (O), Accessible to all (A) and nurtured by Multistakeholder participation (M). The Internet Universality Indicators contain 303 indicators (including 109 core ones) developed under 6 categories, 25 themes, and 124 questions. On top of the ROAM categories, 79 cross-cutting Indicators (category X) have been developed concerning gender and the needs of children, young people, sustainable development, trust and security and ethical aspects of the Internet. In addition, the framework includes 21 contextual indicators concerned with the demographic, social, and economic characteristics of a country. Please visit the website: 21 countries around the world, including Thailand, Nepal, Pakistan and Uzbekistan in the Asia Pacific region, are carrying out national assessments based on these indicators. In this context, the specific issues for discussion in this session would be the concept and development of the ROAM principles and indicators, experience of assessing these indicators in different countries and regions, use of IUIs and assessment for promoting digital rights and Internet freedom.

Describe the Relevance of Your Session to APrIGF

Through this session, jointly organized by UNESCO HQs, UNESCO Nepal office and Digital Rights Nepal, UNESCO  seeks  to  engage in an extensive  partnership with  the APrIGF  community  via  the newly launched  Dynamic  Coalition  of IUIs, so as to  join  forces  for  advancing  evidence-based policy making of Internet governance  and  fostering  digital collaboration in line with  UN SG’s roadmap of digital cooperation.  This year’s APrIGF overarching theme is Inclusion and Trust, within these themes APrLGF had encouraged proposals on key issues including Digital Rights/Human Rights, Accessibility, Freedom of expression and Equitable access. As defined above digital rights covers and relates to all these issues, and the Universality indicator is helping to assess the state of affairs of these issues in the regional and national context. Hence, these thematic tracks and issues as recommended by APrIGF will be addressed and covered during the session as it will allow national leading experts from Asia-Pacific countries to present their national assessment projects using Internet Universality Indicators and foster further engagement with Asia-Pacific Regional IGF communities and stakeholders. UNESCO also takes the occasion to invite all stakeholders to join and participate in its newly launched Dynamic Coalition on Internet Universality Indicators.

Methodology / Agenda

The session will start with opening remarks by Michael Croft, UNESCO Representative to Nepal and a respresentative of the Ministry of Cmmunication, Information and Technology. Xianhong Hu, UNESCO Programme specialist and global focal point of the ROAM project, will briefly present the global overview of UNESCO’s Interner Universality ROAM Principles and Indicators project, the concept, background, indicators, assessment process and implementation. (10 min) Then, a knowledge-sharing discussion nurtured by national leading experts from Thailand, Nepal, Palestine and Pakistan on the implementation of the IUIs will take place. (20 min) After the knowledge-sharing discussion, these experts will participate in a panel and discuss the Role of UNESCO’s ROAM principles and indicators in promoting enabling environment for Internet Freedom and Digital Rights/Human Rights (15 min) The moderator will launch the Q&A portion of the session. (5min) The moderator will invite final statements from the panelists (5 min) The session will be organized in a very interactive manner with the moderator allowing very short statements from speakers to trigger discussion.

Please provide 3 subject matter tags that best describe your session.

#InternetUniversality #ROAMprinciples #DigitalRights


Moderators & Speakers Info (Please complete where possible)

Name Designation Organization Economy of Residence Stakeholder Group Gender Status of Confirmation
Moderator (Primary) Nirjana Sharma Programme Coordinator UNESCO Kathmandu Nepal Intergovernmental Organization Woman Confirmed
Moderator (Back-up) Santosh Sigdel Chairperson Digital Rights Nepal Nepal Technical Community Man Confirmed
Speaker 1 Simon Ellis Author of the ThailandIUIs assessment Independent Thailand Other Man Confirmed
Speaker 2 Sadaf Khan Co-founder Media Matters for Democracy Pakistan Other Woman Confirmed
Speaker 3 Grace Githaiga Convenor KictaNet Kenya Technical Community Woman Invited
Speaker 4 Tank Raj Aryal General Secretary Digital Rights Nepal Nepal Technical Community Man Confirmed


Please explain the rationale for choosing each of the above contributors to the session.

We have chosen the above contributors representing different stakeholder groups because they have been involved in the progress of the national assessment of IUIs in the Asia-Pacific region. Based on their country experiences and lessons learned, recommendations will be made and discussed, on how government and policy makers can be empowered and should be held accountable for respecting, protecting and fulfilling human rights, inclusion, equality, universal access, as well as values embedded in the Internet Universality and the ROAM principles.