Statement by Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjørn Jagland
Strasbourg, 09.12.2009 – The Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjørn Jagland, today gave the following message to mark Human Rights Day:
“Freedom of expression is a fundamental human right, enshrined in the European Convention on Human rights and a pillar of the Europe we know today.
We live in an age of technological innovation and advancing globalisation, where freedom of expression must continue to be central to our vision of Europe. The Internet is a space of creativity and enormous opportunity, but it can also present threats to our privacy, and dangers related to all sorts of cybercrime. We must never forget that the Internet can be (mis)used to promote discrimination and hatred. That is why freedom of expression is not an absolute right, it is a right that comes with responsibility. So it must be on the Internet.
On the occasion of International Human Rights day and recognising the many essential advances in protecting and promoting human rights, the Council of Europe will seek close cooperation with governments and the private sector to make sure that human rights are both promoted and protected from abuse online”.