IGF future currently under review by UN DESA
NEW YORK CITY – 13 July 2010 – As its mandate comes up for review, the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), a multistakeholder body created by the United Nations for discussion of Internet policy issues, received a strong vote of confidence from the business and technical communities today. At a joint event for UN delegates, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the Internet Society (ISOC) urged UN member states to continue the mandate of the IGF with its founding principles intact as a unique space for exchange on important Internet governance policy matters.
“Global business strongly supports continuation of the IGF, viewing it as an extremely valuable forum where everyone with an interest in the Internet can come together to discuss its future development,” stated Art Reilly, senior director of strategic technology policy with Cisco Systems, speaking on behalf of ICC and its BASIS (Business Action to Support the Information Society) initiative. “We further support the continuity of the IGF’s multistakeholder structures, its Geneva-based secretariat and its voluntary funding.”
The Internet Society echoed these sentiments: “ISOC and its membership believe that the IGF is one of the most effective and successful outcomes from the UN’s World Summit on Information Society (WSIS),” commented Lynn St.Amour, president and CEO of the Internet Society. “The IGF inspires people to work effectively in support of multistakeholder and people-centered development of the Internet – a key goal of the WSIS. It promotes and supports work in communities, in countries, in all regions and at the global level. The IGF provides an opportunity for governments, business, civil society and the Internet community to share experiences and best practices that can inform decision making in their home communities to address the issues of economic and social growth and development that are essential to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDG)”.
The IGF can directly impact how companies do business around the world, according to Peter M. Robinson, president and CEO of ICC’s American affiliate, the United States Council for International Business (USCIB). “In order for business to prosper and contribute to the achievement of major societal goals, we need the cooperative, multistakeholder approach that has been the IGF’s hallmark,” he said.
Since the conclusion of the Tunis UN World Summit on Information Society in 2005, the ICC and ISOC have been actively involved in support of implementing the targets, recommendations and commitments of the WSIS as they pertain to the Internet, and to Internet governance, as well as in capacity building and support of Internet standards organizations. The diverse and global communities of these two organizations continue to deploy efforts in a wide range of areas, working to enhance their cooperation and their contribution to the development of Internet-related public policy solutions around the world.
United Nations (UN) member state representatives today attended a briefing session in New York, hosted by the ICC and the Internet Society, where the benefits of the IGF were presented from the perspectives of businesses and Internet technologists. The session underlined the importance of ‘enhanced cooperation’ in matters of Internet governance.
About the Internet Governance Forum
The UN World Summit on Information Society (WSIS Tunis 2005 preceded by WSIS Geneva 2003) created the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), a multi-stakeholder forum for the discussion of “public policy issues related to key elements of Internet governance in order to foster the sustainability, robustness, security, stability and development of the Internet.”
At Tunis, UN Member States also recognized “the need for enhanced cooperation (EC) in the future, to enable governments, on an equal footing, to carry out their roles and responsibilities, in international public policy issues pertaining to the Internet, but not in the day-to-day technical and operational matters, that do not impact on international public policy issues.”
The IGF encourages open dialogue among all relevant stakeholders at the national, regional, and international levels. This open debate is essential to the process of developing people-centric public policy related to the Internet and to the ongoing effective management of Internet resources. For more information about the workshop organized by ISOC and the ICC, see:
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ISOC's key initiatives target the critical issues that affect all aspects of Internet development and growth. They embody ISOC's philosophy that the Internet is for everyone and they provide the organization with a solid foundation from which to positively influence standards development, access, business practices, and government policies. www.isoc.org