Internet Governance 25 October 2013

Closing Remarks at IGF 2013

Remarks by Markus Kummer, Vice President, Public Policy, Internet Society at IGF Closing Session

25 October 2013 in Bali, Indonesia

Mr Chairman,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear colleagues and friends,

I had the honour and privilege to chair the preparatory process of this meeting and I am pleased with the result. In the IGF tradition – this was the best IGF ever! I would like to thank my colleagues from the Multistakeholder Advisory Group who worked hard to put this programme together and you all to make this year’s event a success.

When preparing the IGF we took the recommendations of the CSTD Working Group on IGF seriously. In particular,

  • We aimed to shape the session in a way to provide takeaways and more tangible outputs of the main and focus sessions.
  • The outcome documentation will map out converging and diverging opinions on given questions.
  • We reached out invited all stakeholders to give us input by formulating key policy questions for each session to shape the discussion.
  • We improved the integration of national/regional IGF initiatives into the main programme; and
  • We built a comprehensive capacity building track and introduced orientation sessions in order to facilitate the integration of newcomers.

This year’s IGF introduced innovations into its traditional agenda. Many of the themes were high up on the policy agenda, ranging from the role of governments, to Internet governance and multistakeholder principles, human rights, cybercrime and spam to the contribution of the Internet to sustainable development and the post 2015 agenda.

As in previous years, the IGF again presented a unique platform where difficult issues can be addressed in a constructive dialogue between all stakeholders. This was particularly manifest in the many discussions on government surveillance and one important conclusion emerged: there is a need for an open multistakeholder discussion on how to find high-level principles which can guide governments in this sensitive policy area and re-establish trust. In other words – the IGF has once again proved its worth.

It proved to be a “one-stop-shop” – an annual meeting point where the community gathers to exchange information. This also reflects a recommendation of the CSTD Working Group on

This year’s meeting managed to catalyze broad support. This energy needs to be preserved and translated into a stable and sustainable funding situation of the IGF Secretariat. Let me make use of this opportunity to call on all stakeholders to contribute to this cause.

Of course there is room for further improvements and we will work hard towards this objective. This IGF is over today – we need to start the planning for the 2014 meeting tomorrow and begin by looking at what worked well and what worked less well and what needs to be improved.

The IGF Secretariat will issue a call for nominations for the MAG renewal shortly with the objective to have the renewed MAG in place for the first planning meeting in February next year.

Let me conclude by thanking the IGF Secretariat led by Chengetai they did an amazing job with very limited resources and to UNDESA represented here by Elia Armstrong, for providing the institutional home to the IGF Secretariat. My thanks of course also go to the Indonesian hosts for their gracious hospitality and excellent organisation.

Thank you for your attention.

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