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Tuesday, December 19 • 10:00 - 13:00

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“The impact of digitisation on politics, public trust, and democracy                                                 

The digital space, as a cornerstone of the public policy space, can be a great enabler for democratic discourse and participation, as well as inclusive policy-making. At the same time, the misuse of the digital public policy space can lead to the distortion of truth, mistrust in public information, and misrepresentation of public opinion. 

This session will discuss both the opportunities and the challenges that digitisation brings to the digital political sphere, the public trust, and democracy. Discussions will revolve around ways of strengthening the benefits of democratic participation and inclusion via digital means, limiting the negative impact of the misuse of the public policy space, and rebuilding trust among online users. 

The session will also address the roles and responsibilities of different stakeholders. It will look at issues such as government policies aimed at creating more inclusive policy-making processes through the use of digital tools, the responsibility of Internet intermediaries for the dissemination of fake news and false news that can influence political processes, and the elements that can help rebuild trust among users. Also, the session will discuss the role of media actors in a democracy and the implications of the ongoing structural change in the media ecosystem. Most importantly, the session will look into whether and how digital literacy, education, and awareness-raising could be the key towards empowering citizens not only to take advantage of digital tools, but also to deal with the challenges related to the misuse of the digital public space. 

‘Good stories’, ‘bad stories’, and lessons learnt will be explored as part of the discussions. 
Host Chair:
 Mr. Philipp Metzger, Director General, Swiss Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM) 
 Ms. Nathalie Ducommun, Talk Master of Swiss Television RTS 
Remote Moderator:
 Ms. Katharina Hoene, DiploFoundation 
Introduction by Mr. Philipp Metzger, Director General, OFCOM - 10 min 
Part 1: Benefits - 80 min 
Remarks from first group of panelists (8 people, 2min input each) 
Discussion with audience 
Part 2: Challenges - 80 min 
Remarks from second group of panelists (8 people, 2min input each)
Discussion with audience 
Conclusions and wrap-up - 10 min 
Policy questions:
Part 1 (Benefits): What are the benefits that digitisation brings/can bring to political processes, democracy, and the public trust? How can they be leveraged? How can digital tools be most effectively used to strengthen democratic participation and restore public trust in the online space?  Who can make this happen? Part 2 (Challenges): What are the challenges that digitisation brings/can bring to politics, democracy, and the public trust? How can they be addressed, and by whom? What are the roles and responsibilities of the different stakeholders? How can we ensure that digital tools can be trusted as key resources for democratic participation and inclusive societies? Can digital literacy, education, and awareness-raising be the key towards empowering citizens to deal with the challenges related to the misuse of the digital public space? 

Mr. Martin Chungong, Secretary General, Inter-Parliamentary Union 
Ms. Nighat Dad, Executive Director, Digital Rights Foundation, Pakistan 
Mr. Bobby Duffy, Global Director, Ipsos Social Research Institute 
Ms. Farida Dwi Cahyarini, Secretary-General, Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, Indonesia 
Mr. Hossam Elgamal, Chairman, Egyptian Cabinet Information and Decision Support Center (IDSC) 
Ms. Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, European Commission
Mr. Hasanul Haq Inu, Minister of Information, Bangladesh
Ms. Malavika Jayaram, Executive Director, Digital Asia Hub
Mr. Frank La Rue, Assistant Director-General Communication & Information, UNESCO
Ms. Claudia Luciani, Director of Democratic Governance and Anti-discrimination, Council of Europe
Ms. Dunja Mijatovic, International Expert on Human Rights and Media Freedom, Board Member of Access Now
Mr. Gonzalo Navarro, Executive Director, Asociación Latinoamericana de Internet
Mr. Jean Paul Philippot, President, European Broadcasting Union
Ms. Nanjira Sambuli, Digital Equality Advocacy Manager, World Wide Web Foundation
Mr. Sébastien Soriano, Chairman ARCEP (French National Regulatory Authority for Telecoms and Posts), Chairman BEREC (Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications)
Mr. Robert Strayer, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Cyber and International Communications and Information Policy, U.S. Department of State


Tuesday December 19, 2017 10:00 - 13:00 CET
Main Hall - Room XVII - E United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG)