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Internet Governance 31 July 2015

Internet Society (ISOC) Contribution to the WSIS+10 Written Consultation

By Constance Bommelaer de LeusseFormer Vice President, Institutional Relations and Empowerment

Today we submitted our contribution to the United Nations General Assembly’s 10-year review of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS+10) that will take place in New York in December. The goal of this meeting is to set the agenda for the UN – and through that the agendas of nations around the world – with regard to the future of the “Information Society”.

As one of the organizations involved in the WSIS since its inception, the Internet Society is following the WSIS+10 process closely and participating to the greatest extent possible. In particular, the Internet Society is gathering information and sharing it with its network of 75,000 members, 110 Chapters all over the world and 145 Organization members.

2015 is a historic year in UN history. Over the past months, critical negotiations have been converging towards two landmark events: the UN Summit for the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda to be held this September in New York, and the UN General Assembly High-Level Meeting in December on the overall review of the outcomes of the WSIS, during which the Assembly will also decide on the future of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF).

In this broad context, the international community has today an unprecedented opportunity to seize. By underscoring the principles that have led to the success of the Internet over the past decade, stakeholders can lay the foundations of tomorrow’s Information Society where the Internet can play an even stronger role in supporting economic growth and social progress, in all parts of the world.

Specifically, the international community needs to reaffirm the value of a distributed model of governance where each stakeholder group has its own role and responsibility in the evolution of the Internet – while all converge towards a common goal of enabling an Internet of opportunity for all.

WSIS+10 is not only an opportunity to celebrate the progress made over the past years in developing Internet infrastructure and supporting human empowerment, it is also a chance to tackle remaining challenges to bring the Internet to its full development potential. Furthermore, WSIS+10 can become a historical milestone to build a collective vision for the future of the Information Society, based on three pillars:

  1. Collaborative networks for human empowerment and Sustainable Development;
  2. Collaborative security for trustworthy environments; and
  3. Collaborative governance where open frameworks lead to successful discussions.

In our contribution, we set out this positive vision for the WSIS+10 Review that reflects the progress made since 2005; the challenges still before us to build a truly global Information Society; and the benefits of an open and inclusive dialogue both during and leading up to the High Level WSIS+10 event.

We look forward to continuing to participate in the WSIS+10 review and thank the UN General Assembly for opening up the process to more than just governments. Along with over 125 other organizations and individuals, we continue to believe that the best outcome will be achieved through involving all the many different stakeholders who exist in our connected world.

NOTE about UN terminology and process: As you will see in the title of our contribution, the UN is assembling a document they call a “Non-Paper” that will be published in August and will serve as the input into the UNGA High-Level Meeting in December.  You can view the full list of written submissions to this “Non-Paper” on the UN website and also view the steps of the preparatory process for the WSIS+10 Review.

Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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