High Level Session II: DIGITAL RIGHTS - Monday 28 November, 14:05-16:05 UTC+3

Mr. Benjamin Brake

Since March 2022, Mr. Benjamin Brake has been head of the newly created Digital and Data Policy department at the German Federal Ministry of Digital Affairs and Transport (BMDV). Mr. Brake previously worked for IT service provider IBM, where he represented the company’s political interests for around 10 years as head of the Berlin office. He began his career with stints in the German Bundestag and as personal assistant to the Federal Minister of Justice, Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger (FDP).

Mr. Viktors Makarovs

Mr. Viktors Makarovs is Special Envoy on Digital Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia.

In his previous positions, he has worked on strategic communication, public diplomacy, countering disinformation and media support.

Before joining the Ministry in 2011, Viktors was part of the Latvian NGO think-tanking community, focusing on political culture and foreign policy.

Viktors holds a degree in Political Science from the University of Copenhagen.

Mr. Volker Türk

Mr. Türk is the current United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. He took up his official functions as High Commissioner on 17 October 2022.

He has devoted his long and distinguished career to advancing universal human rights, notably the international protection of some of the world's most vulnerable people - refugees and stateless persons.

Mr. Thomas Schneider

Thomas Schneider is Ambassador and Director of International Affairs at the Swiss Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM) in the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC). He is a long-standing expert in digital governance and in the governance of the information and knowledge society and artificial intelligence. He is leading the Swiss delegation in various key international fora in these fields.

Mr. Amandeep Singh Gill

In June 2022, the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres appointed Mr. Amandeep Singh Gill as his Envoy on Technology.  

Mr. Gill is the Chief Executive Officer of the International Digital Health and Artificial Intelligence Research Collaborative (I-DAIR) project, based at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva.  

Msgr. Lucio Adrián Ruiz

Msgr. Lucio Adrián Ruiz born in Argentina in 1965, was ordained Diocesan Priest in 1990.

Licentiate of Dogmatic Theology at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, Rome (thesis in Theology of Communication); Master in Business Administration (MBA), and Doctorate (PhD) from the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Superior Technical School of Telecommunications Engineering, in the Biomedical Engineering program.

H.E. Monica Mutsvangwa

Positions in Government: Honourable Monica Mutsvangwa is Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services in the Second Republic Government of President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe.

Hon. Mutsvangwa has been in continuous Cabinet service since 2012. She was Governor and Resident Minister of Manicaland Province. Prior to that, she had held the portfolios of Deputy Minister of Economic Planning, Deputy Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcast Services, and Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Welfare. 

Ms. Mazuba Haanyama

Mazuba Haanyama is currently the Head of Human Rights, Public Policy for Africa, Middle East & Turkey at Meta (formerly Facebook). She has long-standing experience as a feminist activist working across Africa with and for women’s & LGBTI movements. She believes firmly in the power of the collective imagination in forging paths of liberation.

Ms. Irene Khan

Irene Khan is the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression since 1 August 2020. She is the first woman to hold this position since the establishment of the mandate in 1993.

An internationally recognized advocate for human rights, gender equality and social justice, she teaches at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, and is co-author of The Unheard Truth: Poverty and Human Rights, which has been published in seven languages.

H.E. Ms. Karoline Edtstadler

Karoline Edtstadler was appointed Federal Minister for the EU and Constitution at the Federal Chancellery under Kurz II by President Alexander Van der Bellen in January 2020.

Previously, from July 2019 to January 2020, she was Member of European Parliament and Head of Delegation of the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) after serving as secretary of state at the Federal Ministry of the Interior under Kurz I from 2017 to May 2019.

Mr. Robert Ochola

Dr. Robert Ochola is an expert in strategy and innovation within the African banking and mobile telecommunications industry.

He is responsible for AfricaNenda’s overall strategy execution and leadership. His primary focus at AfricaNenda is on building momentum for an inclusive and interoperable approach to digital payments across Africa.

Dr. Iginio Gagliardone

Iginio Gagliardone is Associate Professor in Media and Communication at the University of the Witwatersrand and Associate Research Fellow in New Media and Human Rights in the Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy (PCMLP), University

Mr. Vinton Cerf

Vinton G. Cerf co-designed the TCP/IP protocols and the architecture of the Internet and is Chief Internet Evangelist for Google. He is a former member of the National Science Board and current member of the National Academy of Engineering and Foreign Member of the British Royal Society and Swedish Royal Academy of Engineering, and Fellow of ACM, IEEE, AAAS, and BCS.