Finland assumes Chairship of the Freedom Online Coalition

The Freedom Online Coalition (FOC) is pleased to announce that on January 1st, Finland assumed the Chairship of the Coalition for the year 2021. As the FOC marks its 10-year anniversary, Finland is committed to further advancing FOC’s mission and working together with FOC Member States to support Internet freedom and protect human rights – such as free expression, association, assembly, and privacy online – worldwide. 

As part of the Chairship, Finland has set out to continue the work of the Coalition on advancing priority issues, such as digital inclusion, cybersecurity, disinformation, artificial intelligence and challenges by authoritarian regimes, while also working to strengthen FOC’s existing diplomatic networks and to enhance the visibility, continuity and effectiveness of the Coalition.

To mark the 10th anniversary of the FOC, Finland plans to organise a series of events including a high-level ministerial meeting and a Freedom Online Conference in Helsinki on 2-3 December 2021.

More information about the Coalition’s priorities under the Finnish Chairship, can be found in the Program of Action 2021, jointly developed with the FOC and the FOC Advisory Network, and in this list of priorities, prepared by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.

Throughout this year, the Chair will be supported by the Friends of the Chair (FotC). Following an internal selection process, Canada, Estonia, Germany, Ghana, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States will form the FotC group for 2021 to provide advice and support to Finland in the successful implementation of the Program of Action 2021. 

Finally, the Coalition continues to rely on the expertise of the FOC Advisory Network, instrumental in facilitating multistakeholder collaboration and providing advice on the aims and activities of the FOC. Following an internal selection process, the Advisory Network identified three co-Chairs who will lead its efforts to support the Coalition in 2021 – Elonnai Hickok (independent expert), Emilar Gandhi (Facebook) and Bernard Shen (Microsoft).