The UN Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva passed its first resolution
on Internet freedom on Thursday with a call for all states to support
individuals' rights online as much as offline.
Despite opposition on
the issue from countries including China, Russia and India, countries
promoting the resolution hailed the support of dozens of nations ahead
of its adoption.
"This outcome is momentous for the Human Rights Council," US ambassador Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe told reporters.
the first UN resolution that confirms that human rights in the Internet
realm must be protected with the same commitment as in the real world."
The text had the support of 85 co-sponsors, 30 of whom are members of the HRC, Donahoe added.
the states that supported the initiative, Tunisia's ambassador Moncef
Baati said it was particularly important for his country because of the
role accredited to social networking websites in ousting president Zine
El Abidine Ben Ali in 2011.
"The most important result of the
Tunisian revolution is this right to freedom of expression...(this) is
very important at the moment (in Tunisia) and it is for this reason that
there is a strong commitment in Tunisia to consolidate Internet rights.
link with all media networks during the revolution doubles the
importance of this commitment to freedom of expression on the Internet
which remains a major tool for economic development."
countries that backed the resolution on the Promotion, Protection and
Enjoyment of Human Rights on the Internet included Brazil, Nigeria,
Sweden and Turkey.