Internet Governance > WSIS+20 Forum News Update

The Internet Society at the WSIS+20 Forum High-Level Event: Putting the WSIS Action Lines in Focus

Since its inception, the World Summit of the Information Society (WSIS) and its outcomes have been crucial reference elements for their stakeholders, as they represent the consensus about a people-centered, inclusive, and development-oriented Information Society. Through its yearly editions, the WSIS Forum has enabled substantive conversations among stakeholders with a shared interest in advancing the WSIS Action Lines. We have long been a proud partner of this process.

The WSIS+20 Forum High-Level Event was held from 27 to 31 May in Geneva, Switzerland. We have been involved since the Open Consultation Process and were excited to delve into the landscape of Internet issues during a busy week. The event was a great way to connect with our community and partners through relevant sessions and different networking activities.

two women shake hands at a booth, standing with a few other people.

Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union, is pictured visiting the booth of the Internet Society and greeting our delegation, including Dawit Bekele, Alejandra Prieto, and Marian Pletosu. (Source: ITU Pictures)

During a High-Level session, our President and CEO, Andrew Sullivan, illustrated how multistakeholder cooperation can better foster user trust and safeguard security by highlighting the achievements of the Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Security (MANRS) and the efforts of the peering community. While that is just one example, these opportunities reinforce the WSIS Forum as an important venue to learn from others and identify mutual areas of collaboration.

A woman and a man stand side by side while holding a certificate.

Andrew Sullivan (right), President and CEO of the Internet Society, received a certificate of appreciation from Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union, for supporting the event. (Source: ITU Pictures)

We were incredibly proud to celebrate the WSIS Prize awarded to the Internet Society Tanzania Chapter, Digital Africa, and the Internet Society Foundation. The prize recognizes the Tanzania Digital Inclusion Project (TADIP), a community-driven initiative to bridge digital divides under a cost-sharing approach. Under this perspective, all stakeholders split the costs of establishing and maintaining the connectivity infrastructure, making affordable and quality Internet accessible to everyone in the community.

Two men—one wearing a scarf that says 'Tanzania'—accept an award from a woman.

Leaders of the Internet Society Tanzania Chapter received one of the annual WSIS Prizes for their work on the Tanzania Digital Inclusion Project (TADIP) from Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union. (Source: ITU Pictures)

Also, as part of our Youth Ambassador Program, we sponsored four talented Internet champions to attend the Forum and engage with the WSIS stakeholders. This remarkable group facilitated a capacity-building session for emerging leaders, during which they shared their success stories as emerging leaders who have benefited from empowerment programs.

The WSIS+20 Forum HLE occurred in a pivotal year for the Internet. As we approach the WSIS+20 review in 2025, reaffirming our shared commitment to the WSIS vision and its Action Lines remains essential. Building on the progress made by the multistakeholder community will be crucial to ensure the Internet is for everyone.