The Forum on Information and Democracy announces the creation of a civil society coalition composed, to date, of 42 non-governmental organizations from 24 countries. These are associations and research centres known for their expertise and whose objectives are close to the Forum’s mandate (defence of democracy, digital rights, press and media freedom, civic space, human rights, etc.). Their scope of action is local, regional or international. 

For the implementation of democratic guarantees in the information and communication space, cooperation between states and civil society organizations is essential. In this framework, the coalition aims to formulate proposals to the Forum on Information and Democracy and to promote its work and recommendations on all continents. It cooperates with states for their implementation. 

I am delighted by the number of organizations that are already committed to democratic guarantees in the digital space, by the support they are giving to the initiative and by their support for the recommendations made by the Forum, explains Christophe Deloire, president of the Forum on Information and Democracy and secretary-general of Reporters Without Borders (RSF). It is a recognition of the importance of our initiative and the vital issues it defends.”

The coalition’s objective is threefold and aims to:

  • Coordinate collective and concerted action by civil society at the international level in favour of democratic guarantees in the information and communication space 
  • Mobilise the states of the Partnership to strengthen their ownership of the initiative and to extend the Partnership to new signatory states
  • Contribute to the work of the Forum, in particular to the development and implementation of recommendations for regulation of the digital space

On the occasion of the coalition’s launch, several organizations explained the reasons for their involvement. The World Movement for Democracy, a global network of civil society representatives: “The work is urgent, and vital to the future of democracy.” Defend Democracy, a foundation based in The Hague (Netherlands): “If we want democracy to survive, we need urgent democratic oversight, more transparency and accountability of big tech.” 

Ranking Digital Rights, a Washington-based organization behind the Corporate Accountability Index: “Civil society organizations are the bedrock of democracy. On the occasion of the first Summit for Information and Democracy, we call on the signatory states [of the Partnership] to work with our civil society coalition to advance human rights in the digital era.” The Bogotá-based Fundación Karisma, for its part, stresses that it “would also like to bring [their] voice, [their] local context and concerns to the discussions and debates on global information and communication topics.

On the occasion of the Summit for Information and Democracy on 24 September on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, the coalition calls on the signatory states of the Partnership to cooperate with the Forum on Information and Democracy and the civil society coalition they form in implementing the recommendations made by the Forum. 

In the future, coalition members will be invited to participate in international events, launch joint public calls, contribute to collective and concerted advocacy efforts, network and share knowledge, and contribute to the Forum’s working groups. The secretariat of the Forum on Information and Democracy is responsible for facilitating the activities of the coalition. 

The list of organizations that are members of the coalition:

  • Africa Freedom of Information Centre 
  • Aspen Digital  
  • Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University 
  • Coalizão Direitos na Rede
  • CyberPeace Institute 
  • DataLeads 
  • Defend Democracy 
  • Derechos Digitales 
  • Digimar Institute  
  • Espacio Público  
  • Ethical Journalism Network  
  • Free Media Movement – Sri Lanka
  • Freedom House
  • Freedom of Information Center – Armenia
  • Fundación Ciudadanía Inteligente
  • Fundación Ciudadanía y Desarrollo – Ecuador
  • Fundación Karisma 
  • Global Disinformation Index 
  • Global Forum for Media Development
  • Global Partners Digital 
  • Globe International Center – Mongolia
  • Gulf Centre for Human Rights
  • Instituto de Prensa y Libertad de Expresión – Costa Rica
  • Instituto Prensa y Sociedad – Peru
  • Internet lab 
  • Internews 
  • Intervozes – Brazil
  • IT for change 
  • JONCTION – Senegal
  • Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka 
  • JustNetCoalition
  • Ligue Tunisienne de Défense des Droits de l’Homme 
  • Maharat  
  • National Union of Journalists of Philippines
  • New Narratives 
  • NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights
  • PEN International  
  • Ranking Digital Rights 
  • Red en Defensa de los Derechos Digitales – Mexico
  • Samir Kassir Foundation – Lebanon
  • Tactical Tech 
  • World Movement for Democracy
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