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Welcome remarks by Ambassador Heusgen at the side Event “Gendered Surveillance - Identifying impacts and innovating to protect privacy in the digital age” - January 26, 2018

26.01.2018 - Pressemitteilung

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  • Welcome to the Permanent Mission of Germany!
  • Just as women face risks in their daily lives offline, in public, at the workplace and at home, they also face specific risks online.
  • Online threats and harassment, cyber stalking, the distribution of sex pictures and videos, and other privacy invasions used to blackmail women are just some examples of the dangers women and girls face in cyberspace.
  • In addition, women human rights defenders, bloggers and journalists are threatened in their work by virus and spyware attacks, including for surveillance purposes, internet shutdowns and online defamation campaigns.
  • If we want to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls by 2030, we depend on a free, open and secure internet. Women and girls should be equally protected in cyberspace as they are in real life. Women human rights defenders and journalists must be free to use the internet for their work without undue restrictions. The same rights that apply offline must be guaranteed online. If women are denied the full exercise of the freedom of opinion and expression online, they are also limited in their exercise of other fundamental rights, like the rights to education and political participation.
  • Germany and Brazil have spearheaded the discussion in the GA on the right to privacy since 2013. Together with many delegations from different regions, we have managed to advance the discussions and forge an international consensus on the most important aspects.
  • Since the 72nd session of the General Assembly is an “off year” for the resolution, we nevertheless wanted to continue the conversation on this issue.
  • Today´s event is intended to do exactly that: hold a discussion so we may better understand some of the most pressing challenges to the right to privacy; and in particular the specific risks which women and girls face online.
  • Idea for today´s event is to have a conversation with civil society and experts who have a deep understanding of these challenges. We also seek to have an interactive exchange with the audience.
  • Particular thanks to the NGO Access Now and its representative Peter Micek with whom we partnered for today’s discussion; but also to

    -Moderator Jennifer Valentino-DeVries from ProPublica,

    -Deborah Brown of the Association for Progressive Communications (APC)

    -Dinah PoKempner of Human Rights Watch (HRW)

    -Our guest from Brazil, Joanna Varon of Coding Rights

  • Grateful to Ambassador Mauro Vieira of Brazil for his presence, glad that we are co-organizing this event with our friends from Brazil, which is another example of our excellent work together on the right to privacy in New York
  • We have an excellent panel with us today and can certainly look forward to a stimulating discussion.
  • Handing over to Ambassador Mauro Vieira.

Thank you

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