U.S. Ambassador Donahoe on Protection of Human Rights on Internet Freedom

Geneva, Switzerland

The Promotion, protection and enjoyment of human rights on the Internet

(Excerpt from Press Availability with the Ambassadors of Sweden, Brazil, Turkey, Tunisia and Nigeria)

Text of the Resolution

I want to just express how happy we are. The United States is so proud to have these colleagues as friends and leaders from all around the world — from Turkey, Tunisia, Brazil, Nigeria and Sweden on such an important issue.

This outcome is momentous for the Human Rights Council. It’s the first ever UN resolution affirming that human rights in the digital realm must be protected and promoted to the same extent and with the same commitment as human rights in the physical world.

So in that sense we can all say that human rights in the on-line world are as real as human rights in the off-line world.

President Obama and Secretary Clinton have both put a great emphasis on internet freedom and human rights combined, and this is a really foundational moment for the international community as it builds recognition that internet freedom and human rights on-line must be protected as they are off-line.

I have to emphasize also the numbers. It was consensus outcome with 85 co-sponsors who signed on to support the text as it was, and 30 of those were members of the Council.

So it’s just a remarkable accomplishment and we have to point also to the phenomenal leadership, particularly by Sweden. They just were so thoughtful and respectful of all delegations, but very clear on what the outcome should be and they got the job done. We are really thankful.


Disclaimer: The Office of Policy Planning and Public Diplomacy, in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, of the U.S. Department of State manages this site as a portal for international human rights related information from the United States Government. External links to other internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.