UN discusses freedom of expression on the Internet at Sweden's initiative

Today, the UN Human Rights Council opens its nineteenth ordinary session in Geneva. Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt is participating in the session's High-Level Segment and will give Sweden's address to the Council on Wednesday 29 February. On the same day, Mr Bildt will also participate in the panel discussion on freedom of expression on the Internet, which is being held at Sweden's initiative. This is the first time that the issue of freedom on the Internet has been raised on the UN human rights agenda.

Mr Bildt is participating in the panel together with Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and Frank la Rue, UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, as well as representatives of civil society in South America, Africa and Asia, and from Google. The moderator is Al Jazeera reporter Riz Khan. The panel discussion can be followed live (12.00-15.00) via the web link below.


The session agenda contains a range of current issues in which Sweden has an active role. Along with a cross-regional group of countries, Sweden will submit a resolution that aims to extend the mandate of a Special Rapporteur on Iran, based on the serious human rights situation in the country. For the first time, there will also be a panel discussion on the human rights of LGBT people, and on how the Council will monitor these issues in the future. Sweden has nominated Hans Ytterberg (former Ombudsman against Discrimination because of Sexual Orientation) to the panel.


"Over the past year, the Council has come to play a more active role in serious situations, such as Libya and Syria, which strengthens the Council's relevance," says Mr Bildt. "Through its candidacy to the UN Human Rights Council, Sweden hopes to continue to advance the agenda and improve the situation for human rights worldwide."


Press conference

A press conference with Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt will be held in connection with the panel discussion on freedom of expression on the Internet.
Wednesday 29 February at 15.15 in Press Room 3, Building A, Palais des Nations.


Contact

Anna Charlotta Johansson
work +46 8 405 00 00