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Editor’s choice 2011: Favourite live event

There are so many live events to choose from this year, as befits an organisation which has organised and hosted more than one hundred meetings and conferences in 2011.

November’s three-day cybercrime conference had significant international impact and the sessions of the Parliamentary Assembly were treasure troves of controversy and insight.

There was genuine theatre at the annual conference of the European Roma and Travellers Forum. The Bern Convention’s annual session raised fears about the threats to Europe’s biodiversity. The concentration of purpose at September’s summit of mayors attracted widespread interest too.

Yet, the live event that ranks as my personal favourite has to be April’s internet freedom conference.

The Council of Europe’s efforts to bring human rights online increases in its relevance as concerns about online privacy, new media ethics, cyber security and the “industrialisation” of the internet become more evident.

The internet freedom conference, which featured an international cast of participants, marked a key phase in the evolving conversation about the future of the internet.

Throughout the year, the Council of Europe has maintained a dialogue with a range of government, industry and web activist partners. The declaration on the importance of human rights defenders’ websites and work on cyber-security, privacy and web freedom, leave the organisation well-placed to contribute to online innovation and development in 2012 and beyond.

Close … but no cigar!

November: Conference on LGBT rights

October: Skopje conference – Drugs and HIV transmission in prisons

September: Strengthening democracy in Tunisia

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