UN Events

Internet Society and United Nations

The Internet Society is a member of two sectors of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU): the Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T) and the Development Sector (ITU-D). The ITU was established in 1865 as an international organisation within which governments and the private sector should work together to coordinate the operation of telecommunication networks and services and advance the development of communications technology.

The Internet Society has a consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). It has participated in the Human Rights Council following obtention of the UN ECOSOC status in 2010. Its focus is principally on issues related to Internet and freedom of expression.

The Internet Society is also a Permanent Observer to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and Observer organization to the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR).

The Internet Society is officially recognized as “an NGO in operational relations with UNESCO” and is part of UNESCO’s Communication and New Technologies Joint Program Commission.

The Internet Society and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding in May 2008. It is also a partner of Global Alliance for ICT and Development (GAID).

The Internet Society attends the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) each year as a trusted member of the Internet community. The IGF is a global multistakeholder forum that promotes discussions and dialogue about public policy issues related to the Internet.

We are highly involved in many other events organized by the United Nations.

World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)

The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) was a unique two-phase United Nations (UN) summit that began with the goal of achieving a shared commitment to building a people-centric, inclusive and development-oriented Information Society where everyone can create and share information.

In December 2015, the United Nations General Assembly reviewed if the WSIS goals progressed over the past ten years and considered the future of the WSIS process beyond 2015.  This was often called the “WSIS+10 Review” and culminated in a High-Level Event on 15-16 December 2015 at the UN Headquarters in New York.

People sitting in the conference room

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© UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré, © Matthew TenBruggencate via Unsplash