IFLA has added its name to a letter to Mauricio Macri, President of Argentina and host of the G20 – a gathering of the governments of the world’s biggest economies. The letter sets out a number of areas where policy-makers should act to ensure the Internet works, first and foremost, for its users.

G20 open letter imageOver the past three decades, the Internet has become ever more central to the way we learn, research, create and communicate. As such, the importance of ensuring that it develops in a way that helps users achieve their goals grows. Libraries, with their long expertise in managing and giving access to information, and well-established values of service to users, can help.

IFLA has therefore long engaged in making the case for giving everyone access to the Internet – notably through public access schemes. We have also called for laws and practices that make this access as full and meaningful as possible.

It is welcome that this year’s G20 is looking at digital and Internet policy issues. Bringing together the biggest global players is important, given that individual national approaches run counter to the global nature of the net. It is a chance to commit to an Internet that works for people.

To make the most of this opportunity, IFLA and other like-minded organisations have signed a joint letter to Mauricio Macri, President of Argentina (the 2018 host of the G20). This establishes five areas where governments can act:

  • Meaningful Access: investment in affordable access and digital literacy programmes
  • Privacy and Data Protection: ensuring citizens have greater control over their own data
  • Freedom of Expression: promote and maintain an open Internet for everyone
  • Cybersecurity: develop cybersecurity tools that respect human rights
  • Increased competition: allow for innovation and protect consumers

IFLA Secretary General Gerald Leitner said:

“As the Internet becomes ever more essential to the creation and sharing of information, we need to ensure that it works in a way that protects rights and promotes development. IFLA is proud to join the other signatories to this letter in setting out the way forwards”

IFLA encourages its members to use this letter in their own advocacy work, in order to make the case at all levels for an Internet that is truly focused on improving people’s lives.


You can read the letter here. Find out more about what IFLA is doing on questions around the Information Society.