Maria Ressa named as member of UN internet policy panel

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Nobel Prize laureate and Rappler founder Maria Ressa will be part of a leadership panel that will support the United Nations’ Internet Governance Forum, the United Nations announced earlier this week.

Ressa joins nine other panel members from different parts of the world. Each will serve a two-year term as they “address strategic and urgent issues and highlight forum discussions, as well as possible follow-up actions, to promote greater impact and dissemination of IGF discussions.”

The UN Internet Governance Forum is an annual meeting that discusses public policy issues about the internet.

Ressa won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2021 for her fearless efforts to safeguard freedom of expression and independent journalism in the Philippines. She has spoken out frequently about how Internet trolls and misinformation represent an existential threat to global democracy.

Other panel members include Vint Cerf from the United States, Hatem Dowidar from Egypt, Lise Fuhr from Denmark, Maria Fernanda Garza from Mexico, Toomas Hendrik Ilves from Estonia, Alkesh Kumar Sharma from India, Karoline Edtstadler from Austria, ‘Gbenga Sesan from Nigeria, and Lan Xue from China.

The UN Secretary-General appointed the members after an open call for nominations, forming the panel with “an equitably distributed, multistakeholder configuration” of representatives from the government, the private sector, civil society, and the tech community, as well as prominent individuals in the field of digital policy.

The panel also includes five ex-officio members: senior representatives of the previous, current, and incoming IGF host countries; the Chair of the Forum’s Multistakeholder Advisory Group, as well as Amandeep Singh Gill, the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Technology.

The 17th edition of the IGF will be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from November 28 to December 2.