The International Telecommunication Union, UNESCO and ICANN will collaborate on global efforts to forge universal standards towards building a multilingual cyberspace. The three agencies organized a workshop on this subject during the second Internet Governance Forum (IGF) taking place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from 12 to 15 November 2007.
The Internet is a key factor in developing a more inclusive and development-oriented information society, which stresses plurality and diversity instead of global uniformity. Multilingualism is a key concept to ensure cultural diversity and participation for all linguistic groups in cyberspace. There is growing concern that hundreds of local languages may be sidestepped, albeit unintentionally in the radical expansion of Internet communication and information. The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) recognized the importance attached to linguistic diversity and local content, with UNESCO given the responsibility to coordinate implementation of the Summit Action Line.
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