Internet Governance > Global Digital Compact News Update

Global Digital Compact Rev.1:
Internet Society’s Initial Views

After a series of informal multistakeholder consultations, deep dive discussions, and intergovernmental negotiations, the Global Digital Compact (GDC) co-facilitators released the first revision of the document.

We are thankful for the co-facilitators’ efforts to reflect the views shared by different community actors. However, there’s still room for improvement. In particular, additional language is needed to recognize the positive role that complementary access solutions play in bridging the digital divide. There’s still an opportunity to recognize the policy, regulatory, and community-based best practices that have enabled such an environment. Numerous examples can be extracted from the Internet Governance Forum (IGF)’s intersessional activities.

We’re concerned about the narrow approach proposed for the IGF in relation to the GDC’s implementation and follow-up. While we acknowledge the inclusion of language referring to the IGF as a relevant space, the current text falls short by limiting the IGF’s role. Moreover, the text misses a priceless opportunity to build on existing activities within the IGF structure and processes to avoid duplicating efforts, as recognized by the NETmundial+10 multistakeholder statement.

We believe additional debate is needed on how the IGF may evolve to implement this approach fully. We recognize that most of that conversation must occur in the context of the WSIS+20 review. The Internet stakeholders are ready to contribute to this debate in the GDC process.

On the positive side, we recognize the references to the WSIS Forum as a multistakeholder venue to accelerate progress across all SDGs, especially considering the collaboration opportunities offered to various UN agencies and the multistakeholder community. We are pleased to see:

  • References to a global, open, and interoperable Internet and the inclusion of interoperability as a principle
  • Language retained regarding the need to avoid Internet fragmentation
  • Views of the Internet as a force for good in society.

We recognize that continued collaboration is needed, and we welcome the co-facilitators’ stakeholders briefing for the GDC Zero Draft Revision 1 presentation. However, given the GDC process’ high relevance for the future of the Internet and its governance, we insist on our call to allow stakeholders to offer their views as a part of additional consultation rounds.