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Press releases 23 June 2014

Internet Society CEO Kathy Brown Statement at ICANN 50 High Level Governmental Meeting

The Internet Society is dedicated to an open, non-fractured Internet available to everyone in the world. Our technical roots have given wings to our expanded engagement over the years in Internet development and in the public policy debates that have been so important to the future of the Internet. With more than 60,000 individual Members, 100 Chapters around the world, and 150 Organization Members, ISOC’s community is a united voice to keep the Internet growing and evolving to benefit all the peoples of the world.

The NETmundial conference brought together a diverse group of stakeholders who made a conscious decision to work with each other. The conference illustrated a practical application of the multistakeholder process. The technical community stood shoulder to shoulder with government officials, business leaders, civil society and human rights advocates. We talked with each other; we listened to each other. We came away with a statement of principles that were embraced by the assembly in a spirit of collaboration.

As others have said, we have multiple opportunities ahead to deepen our resolve to forge agreements, norms and mechanisms that will help us realize the benefits of a globally-connected, open and secure Internet. The upcoming Internet Governance Forum in Istanbul gives us another opportunity to collaborate. The Internet Society is working with other stakeholders to enrich the knowledge agenda by discussing and advancing best practices that are so crucial to governance in a distributed ecosystem.

The critical question for all of us is not whether or if, but how diverse stakeholders can work together towards a common vision for the future. We believe that there is not a one-size-fits-all multistakeholder model that is identical from region to region, or from one institution to the other. We agree with Minister Vaizey, however, that the dynamic nature of the Internet does not lend itself to traditional top down processes. Rather, the bottom up innovation—and governance—that has been the engine of growth for the Internet is facilitated by multistakeholder approaches that share common principles of openness, inclusiveness, and transparency.

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