Internet Governance 23 September 2013

WSIS+10 High-Level Event Open Consultation Process Official Submission Form #1

Official Submission Form #1 on the Outcome Documents of the WSIS+10 High Level Event

13-17 April 2014, Sharm el Sheikh

Background: The WSIS+10 High-Level Event will be an extended version of the WSIS Forum to address the progress made in the implementation of the WSIS outcomes related to the WSIS Action Lines under mandates of the participating agencies, while providing a platform for multistakeholder coordination of the implementation of the WSIS outcomes, with involvement and participation of all WSIS action line facilitators, other UN agencies and all WSIS stakeholders.

The WSIS+10 High-Level Event will review the WSIS Outcomes (2003 and 2005) , in particular, related to the Action Lines with a view to developing proposals on a new vision beyond 2015, potentially also exploring new targets. The meeting will be organized taking into account decisions of the 68th Session of the UN General Assembly.

This open and inclusive open consultation process will result in:

• Draft Outcome Documents for consideration by the WSIS+10 High-Level Event, by 1st March 2014:

       • Draft WSIS+10 Statement on Implementation of WSIS Outcomes

       • Draft WSIS+10 Vision for WSIS Beyond 2015 under mandates of the participating Agencies

(Please see the Official Submission Form #1)

• Multistakeholder guidance on the Thematic Aspects and Innovations on the Format of the WSIS +10 High-Level Event.

(Please see the Official Submission Form #2)

Please note that formal submission should be sent to the [email protected] not later than 20 September 2013. 

A. Your Information


First name: Constance Last name: Bommelaer

Organization: Internet Society

Organization type: Private Sector Country: Switzerland

Email: [email protected] Telephone: +41 22 807 1444

Address: 15 Passage Malbuisson, CH 1204 Genève

B. Formal Input on the WSIS+10 High-Level Event Outcome Documents

Referring to the background documents i.e. the WSIS +10 Visioning Challenge, the Final Statement and Final Recommendations from the WSIS+10 Review Event Towards Knowledge Societies for Peace and Sustainable Development, the Booklet WSIS Forum 2012 & 2013: Identifying Emerging Trends and a Vision Beyond 2015 and the WSIS Forum 2013 Outcome Document, all WSIS Stakeholders are kindly invited to provide formal submissions and inputs towards the Outcome Documents of the WSIS+10 High-Level Event.

1. Draft WSIS+10 Statement on Implementation of WSIS Outcomes

(Please note that the anticipated length of this Statement is two pages)

Since the two Summits, in 2003 and 2005, WSIS Stakeholders have made every effort in implementing a common vision of the Information Society.


a) What are the main achievements in the area of the information society, in particular, in the implementation of the WSIS Action Lines, in the past ten years?

In the past ten years, the Internet has proved to be a major driver for development, living up to paragraph 80 of the Tunis Agenda reminding us that the Internet should be seen “as a means to support development efforts to achieve internationally agreed development goals and objectives, including the Millennium Development Goals”. The Internet Society believes this achievement is the result of the development of multistakeholder processes involving all relevant actors, in all regions.

In line with the Final Statement of the 2013 WSIS Review Event in February 2013 ( t/wsis10_final_statement_en.pdf), we believe “the decade since WSIS has seen very considerable progress towards the people-centered, inclusive and development-oriented Information Society” and that “the multistakeholder approach and implementation at the international level proved to be a considerable asset in taking forward the WSIS Themes and Action Lines.”

The multistakeholder approach recognizes that various stakeholders, including civil society, private sector, the academic and technical communities and governments, all have respective responsibilities, expertise and valuable know-how to bring to the table. Cooperation among these stakeholder groups has vastly improved over the past 10 years, and there are many examples of intergovernmental processes opening to non-government stakeholders’ participation, and the opposite is true as well.

Providing a platform for all stakeholders to interact on an equal footing, we consider that the creation of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) represents one of the most significant outcomes of WSIS, and recognition of the value of multistakeholder cooperation. As a global forum, but also through regional and national initiatives, this participatory multistakeholder platform in Internet policy matters has blossomed across all regions. This positive development is in line with paragraph 80 of the Tunis Agenda, which calls for “the development of multi-stakeholder processes at the national, regional and international levels to discuss and collaborate on the expansion and diffusion of the Internet.”

b) What key identified challenges would need to be addressed in the next 10 years?

Bringing the remaining billion of Internet users online: Tremendous progress has been achieved in connecting developing countries to the Internet in the past 10 years since WSIS, but technical and regulatory challenges remain to connect rural areas in upcoming years.

Further efforts should be done to lift barriers to Internet development, namely in Africa. In many countries, the development of Internet access services is still held back by constraints on key inputs, notably in relation to the terrestrial connectivity between the submarine cables, the IXPs, the ‘lastmile’ access infrastructure – whether fixed or wireless – and the Internet service providers (ISPs) that deliver access to the end-users. Policy remedies are required that remove roadblocks to new market entry and expansion, promote of investment by providing clear rules, and provide strong political leadership to achieve ICT goals.

Building and connecting technical and human infrastructure is also essential to foster ubiquitous, reliable, and sustainable Internet infrastructures around the world that drive economic and social development. Further efforts should be done to facilitate core network development, interconnection and Internet traffic exchange. Critical to technical development is the “human” infrastructure – trained experts who build and maintain the Internet infrastructure in their corner of the globe.

Furthermore, in addition to efforts to develop local infrastructure, efforts to localize hosting and digital content production would also contribute to spurring economic growth, jobs and social progress at the local level.

Finally, another key challenge is to ensure that the Internet remains sustainable, i.e. a global, open and interoperable network for innovation and information sharing. The Internet is an extraordinary platform for existing and new business opportunities – enabling commerce to flow between all parties in dynamic ways, opening new territories, encouraging competition, expanding market presence, and creating new business models. Open Internet standards – based on cooperation, technical-merit, voluntary adoption or open participation – are the building blocks that have fostered permission-less innovation and borderless commerce.

c) What do the WSIS Stakeholders envision for an information/ knowledge society ensuring that the youth, women, poor, persons with disabilities and indigenous peoples benefit from the enormous opportunities provided by the ICTs?

About 40 years since its creation, the Internet has evolved to become one of the main drivers of economic and social development, reaching more than 2 billions individuals worldwide. As such it has proven to be a key tool to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, providing enormous opportunities for the youth, women, poor, persons with disabilities and indigenous peoples.

The Internet Society fundamentally believes that the Internet should be open and accessible to everyone. The Internet offers an opportunity for inclusiveness – to view the global community of its users as one while recognising its rich diversity. The true potential of the network for economic and social development relies in its ability to empower all parts of society.

Developing a global cadre of leaders-successors who can successfully address the complex issues that occur at the intersection of technology, policy, and business is a key objective for the Internet Society. To meet the rapidly changing demands of Internet governance and development, the next generation of Internet leaders will require a multidisciplinary skill set as well as the capabilities and experience to work with people at all levels of society. Since its inception in 1992, the Internet Society has been at the forefront of global education and capacity building, bringing essential information and training to individuals across the world. The Next Generation Leaders is a training and professional development programme that is specifically geared towards preparing the world’s next generation of leaders to address the key challenges that arise in the development of the Internet ( The programme is open to individuals between the ages of 20 and 40 years old, and consists of both theoretical and experiential components. The theoretical component is delivered via the organization’s cutting edge Learning Management System (LMS), which allows for the integration of the knowledge of ISOC’s subject matter experts with enhanced features and advanced development tools to deliver interactive courseware in moderated, self-paced and mobile learning formats. The experiential component includes a number of fellowships to participate in key meetings of the Internet Governance Forum, World Bank and OECD.

Further efforts should be made to advancing women in computer sciences and engineering, a field that is dominated by men’s presence. This will not only contribute to greater balance and diversity in technological development, but can also play an essential role in promoting women’s leadership position in society as a whole. The Internet Society is committed to bringing more women to the table to provide their voice to Internet standards development. This includes actively recruiting women from developing and emerging economies to programmes such as the Internet Society’s Fellows to the Internet Engineering Task Force.

Removing barrier to create an inclusive and accessible society for all also means that the Internet should be accessible for persons with disabilities. Persons with disabilities form the world’s largest minority according to the United Nations. One billion people are estimated by the World Health Organisation to have a disability, with 80% living in developing countries. If the appropriate Internet tools are available, people with disability can participate equally in society and make substantial contributions to economic and social development. Internet technologies have the potential to give persons with disabilities the means to live on a more equitable basis within the global community in a manner that previously was not possible. More can be made to improve inclusiveness for these persons, including by further promoting the use of W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which are increasingly mandated by governments and used by industry to make websites more accessible for people with disabilities. In addition, more governments are starting to incorporate accessibility criteria in their public procurement policies. (

Children and the youth are also key stakeholders in the information society and can benefit greatly from the use of ICTs, whether to learn, communicate, interact socially, create and share content, or be entertained. An approach based on children empowerment and capacity building on online literacy skills should be a priority in ensuring that the Internet is bringing all its benefits to this active but vulnerable category of person (

2. Draft WSIS +10 Vision for WSIS Beyond 2015 under mandates of the participating agencies (Definition of new priorities and objectives for WSIS Action Lines beyond 2015)

Please note: Participating agency refers to the Agencies tasked by the WSIS Outcomes to lead facilitation of WSIS Action Lines; See Annex to the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society.

a) In your opinion, what are the key emerging trends in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) landscape that should be considered in the implementation of WSIS Action Lines beyond 2015? Please specify the Action Line you are providing an input for.

Please note: You may wish to refer to the WSIS Forum 2012 & 2013 Booklet on Identifying Emerging Trends and a Vision Beyond 2015, available at

• С1. The role of public governance authorities and all stakeholders in the promotion of ICTs for development

o There can be no doubt that the innovations and openness that the WSIS brought to all the stakeholders involved is one of its most important achievements. The WSIS has greatly contributed to awareness of the importance of the multistakeholder approach in achieving good public governance. In pursuing its public policy objectives, ISOC operates collaboratively and inclusively, working with governments, national and international organizations, civil society, academia, the private sector and other parties to reach decisions about the Internet that conform to our core values. Since the WSIS, ISOC has expanded collaboration with intergovernmental organizations, including such examples as the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Council of Europe, the African Union, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the Organization of American States/Inter-American Telecommunication Commission (CITEL), and with national governments to promote the expansion of the Internet around the world:

• С2. Information and communication infrastructure

o One of the most significant trends regarding information and communication infrastructure is the success story of Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) in contributing to faster and cheaper Internet access in developing countries. The deployment of IXPs has improved the overall Internet experience in many countries.

o The Internet Society concentrates its efforts on a “smart development” approach, based on partnerships which focus on human, technical, and governance infrastructure development. Trained people, enhanced infrastructure and strong governance models have been success factors for the Internet’s deployment around the world, and these elements underpin past and current WSIS debates about Internet development.

o The accelerated deployment of IPv6 is also a critical trend that will have an important impact on the technical development of the Internet as well as on the pace of innovation and economic growth associated to this technology.

• C3. Access to information and knowledge

o The Internet and ICTs have become essential platforms for individuals to access information and knowledge and facilitating citizen’s participation in building democratic society. The network has become, in many parts of the world, an enabler of a wide range of Human Rights, such as the right to freedom of expression and option (article 19 UDHR), or the right to association (art. 20 UDHR). As a result, undermining access to the Internet not only restricts benefits to economic and social development, but can also threaten the ability of users to enjoy their most fundamental rights. More recently, the U.N. Human Rights Council issued a landmark Resolution re-affirming that the same rights that people have offline must also be protected online, and recognizing the global and open Internet as a driving force for development (A/HRC/RES/20/8).

• C4. Capacity building

o For the Internet to grow and be sustainable, network operators need the technical capacity necessary to build, maintain, and protect networks, as well as make informed choices about new infrastructure implementations and methodologies. With Internet technology changing rapidly, capacity building needs to be an ongoing process and local information-sharing mechanisms must be in place to sustain knowledge transfer beyond classroom trainings. As we mentioned earlier, successful capacity building towards Internet access development requires a “smart approach”, including human, technical, and governance infrastructure development.

Beyond its 20 years of capacity building experience on the field, the Internet Society has recently created a fellowship program for policymakers to participate in meetings of the Internet Engineering Task Force, building capacity around the understanding of core developments around Open Internet Standards. The Internet Society has also invested in an important Learning Management System. As the remaining billions of users come online, this investment enables the Internet Society and other partners to scale the impact of technical and regulatory expertise to support the Internet’s evolution as a platform for economic growth, innovation, and human expression.

• C5. Building confidence and security in the use of ICTs

o The open and global nature of the Internet, built on fundamental principles of open standards, voluntary collaboration, reusable building blocks, integrity, permission-free innovation and global reach, has enabled remarkable social and economic innovation in ways that we could never have imagined. At the same time, using the Internet is not without risk. Malicious actors also see opportunities to gain benefit through fraud, thwart the activities of others or cause other damage. Such actions can undermine users’ trust and confidence in the network, but closing the Internet is not the solution.

o Instead, we need to focus on ensuring the Internet is stable, secure and resilient. To do so, it is important that these issues be addressed by all stakeholders in a spirit of collaboration and shared responsibility. It is also important that these issues be addressed in ways that do not undermine the global architecture of the Internet or curtail internationally recognized human rights.

o The Internet Society is working closely with the OECD, APEC, ENISA, WEF and other organizations to develop policy solutions that further this goal. In the technology space, our focus is on resiliency and security of two main pillars of the Internet – its naming and routing systems.

• C6. Enabling environment

o Universal growth and social progress can be achieved through a global and inclusive Internet economy. Since its beginning, the Internet has been an extraordinary open platform for innovation. It has enabled information to flow between all stakeholders in dynamic ways, has increased transparency and opened new territories. As a consequence, it has lowered entry barriers to markets, provided tremendous business opportunities and fostered the creation of new business models.

The remarkable growth of the Internet and the limitless variety of Internet applications that have been developed follow directly from the open model of Internet connectivity and standards development. Any individual, organization, or company can develop and distribute a new Internet application and service that can be used by anyone. To be a key driver of economic growth, the Internet must continue to develop in an open way that allows industries to compete on a level playing field. Any unnecessary restrictions, such as trade barriers, can inhibit growth.

Fostering an enabling environment for connectivity requires an approach based on multistakeholder cooperation. The multistakeholder model works, not as an end in and of itself, but because this model is at the heart of the Internet’s architectural foundation and also because it has proven to be the best way to ensure that the benefits of the Internet are available to everyone.

Extensive experience in the establishment of Internet Exchange Points demonstrates the value of collaboration among many actors – including Internet Services Providers, content providers, research networks and other actors – in order to minimize traffic routing costs.

• C7. ICT Applications:

o E-government  Click here to enter text.

o E-business  Click here to enter text.

o E-learning  Click here to enter text.

o E-health  Click here to enter text.

o E-employment  Click here to enter text.

o E-environment  Click here to enter text.

o E-agriculture  Click here to enter text.

o E-science  Click here to enter text.

• C8. Cultural diversity and identity, linguistic diversity and local content

o There is a strong relationship between local content, Internet infrastructure and access prices. Keeping the traffic local and building up local content is key for improving access to the Internet. A 2012 study by UNESCO, the OECD and ISOC shows that there is a strong correlation between the development of network infrastructure and the growth of local content, and a connection between developed local Internet markets and lower reported prices for international bandwidth (

o Moreover, IXPs encourage the development of local content and applications. Once an IXP is established, it becomes a natural location to host a variety of other services that reduce bandwidth requirements and improve the speed and reliability of Internet access for local users. Such improvement of the access speed for local content often results in incentives for local developers to produce local content and applications. Moreover, it often encourages international content providers to establish themselves in the country. For example, after Argentina and Kenya acquired their national IXPs, Google started hosting its services in those countries. That not only created employment opportunities in those countries but also improved access speed to Google’s services. The development of local content and applications will also make the Internet more relevant to the local population, which makes the Internet more socially and economically beneficial to the country.

• C9. Media

o The Internet and ICTs have enabled and introduced new forms of media. Blogs or social networking platforms have complemented traditional media approaches by contributing to the exchange and dissemination of information in a way that empowers end-users and further enhanced the capabilities of the Internet. For example, the Council of Europe, through its Steering Committee on Media and Information Society (CDMSI), is one of the organisations which has been addressing the opportunities and challenges stemming from the increasing role played by the Internet and ICTs with regards to new journalistic practices, as well as users’ fundamental rights of freedom of expression (article 19 UDHR) or freedom of association and peaceful assembly (art. 20 UDHR). The Internet Society is working to ensure that users take full advantage of the expression opportunities that the open, global and interoperable Internet offers.

• C10. Ethical dimensions of the Information Society

o Ethical considerations have emerged through the expanded recognition that the Internet and ICTs are key enablers for Human Rights. The Open Internet empowers users to seek, receive and impart information and ideas regardless of frontiers (article 19 UDHR). Internet users should benefit from the same human rights safeguards whether online or offline, a fundamental legal principle, as well as an ethical consideration. Technical measures that restrict Internet access (e.g. content filtering or blocking) should not be enforced without due regard to individuals’ rights simply because they are technically feasible.

Recent revelations regarding surveillance of Internet users’ online interactions have demonstrated that there is an urgent need to reinforce principles of ethical data handling throughout the Information Society. Such principles include: objectively reasonable and justified data use, due respect of individuals’ rights and expectations of privacy, proportionality, proper independent and transparent judicial and community oversight, accountability, rights of remedy, etc.

• C11. International and regional cooperation

o Much progress has taken place in the past few years in terms of stakeholders’ cooperation as part of global and regional processes on key issues related to the Internet and ICTs. Many inter-governmental organisations have made institutional arrangements to allow non-governmental stakeholders to contribute meaningfully to some of their decision-making process (e.g. OECD, Council of Europe, UNESCO, APEC). On the other hand, non-governmental stakeholders (private sector, civil society, the technical and academic and technical communities) have also developed multistakeholder partnerships with governmental and inter-governmental organizations in a view to achieving the WSIS goals. For example, ISOC is working closely with regional organisations such as CITEL, ATU and APT to cooperate on key issues such as spam, open standards and interconnection.

It should also be noted that National and Regional IGFs offer a valuable platform for local stakeholders to address key local Internet governance issues in a multistakeholder framework. There are many examples of vibrant local IGFs, including in Africa and Latin America, which have proved useful networking platforms to facilitate cooperation between local actors to address local priorities.

o With the remaining billions of Internet users mainly coming from developing countries, fostering vibrant multistakeholder cooperation at the local level is essential for the future of the global Internet. Some of the key challenges include the need for increasing awareness and capacity building around existing cooperation mechanisms. The number of parallel processes and different modes of participation can be unsettling for newcomers, and further efforts should be made to make them easier to understand and engage with.

b) What are areas that have not been adequately captured by the framework of the existing 11 WSIS Action Lines and would need to be addressed beyond 2015? Please specify the Action Line you are providing an input for.

See responses in 2.a).

• С1. The role of public governance authorities and all stakeholders in the promotion of ICTs for development  Click here to enter text.

• С2. Information and communication infrastructure  Click here to enter text.

• C3. Access to information and knowledge  Click here to enter text.

• C4. Capacity building  Click here to enter text.

• C5. Building confidence and security in the use of ICTs  Click here to enter text.

• C6. Enabling environment  Click here to enter text.

• C7. ICT Applications:

o E-government Click here to enter text.

o E-business  Click here to enter text.

o E-learning  Click here to enter text.

o E-health  Click here to enter text.

o E-employment  Click here to enter text.

o E-environment  Click here to enter text.

o E-agriculture  Click here to enter text.

o E-science  Click here to enter text.

• C8. Cultural diversity and identity, linguistic diversity and local content

Click here to enter text.

• C9. Media

Click here to enter text.

• C10. Ethical dimensions of the Information Society

Click here to enter text.

• C11. International and regional cooperation

Click here to enter text.

c) In your opinion are there any priority areas that need to be addressed in the implementation of WSIS Beyond 2015.

Given the importance of the Internet as a driver of economic growth, social change and political development, we propose looking at the key characteristics of the Internet that enable it to be the backbone of our globalized world. The open and interoperable nature of the Internet has fostered innovation in an unprecedented way – these key characteristics will need to be preserved to allow future generations of users to benefit from the Internet. The following areas could be explored as part of the implementation of WSIS beyond 2015:

1. Open Standards: The Internet is built on open standards – they are a key enabler of opportunities and put the power of innovation in the hands of all users. Open and voluntary standards serve as building blocks for products and services targeted at meeting the needs of the market and consumer, thereby driving innovation. Innovation in turn contributes to the creation of new markets and the growth and expansion of existing ones.

2. Open to Everyone: The open Internet enables everyone “to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”, as it is set out in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). People choose the services they need, create their own content in the language they want, and share it with others.

3. Open for Business: The Internet is an extraordinary platform for existing and new business opportunities – enabling commerce to flow between all parties in dynamic ways, opening new territories, encouraging competition, expanding market presence, and creating new business models. It is a key driver of economic growth.

4. Open Governance: The Internet’s open, inclusive, transparent policy and standards developing processes are contingent on its underlying architecture. They bring business, civil society, the technical community, governments, and policy makers together to participate in the multi-­- stakeholder dialogue necessary to meet the challenges of an ever more complex world.

3. Ensuring accountability of the WSIS Action Lines beyond 2015 (Targets and Indicators for an open and inclusive information/knowledge society for all beyond 2015)

Please note that information provided under this point will be relevant to the second physical meeting of the open consultation process on WSIS+10 High-Level Event.

a) How can the monitoring and evaluation of future implementation of the WSIS process, in particular, the Action Lines be better enabled?

In accordance with the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society, the monitoring and evaluations of future implementation of the WSIS process should be multistakeholder. Stakeholders could assess on a regular basis what has been achieved and analyze the underlying causes for success. The process could also identify areas where implementation is not as successful as was hoped for and further investigate the challenging factors that led to such a result. Looking at reasons why a policy was not successful can teach valuable lessons: best practices seeking to improve information of all stakeholders involved could be identified; sharing best practices could provide guidance and set benchmarks. This process has the advantage of being able to evolve as improvements are emerging. One of the significant advantages of identifying best practices is that they can be based on self-assessment or benchmarking.

b) What are the priority areas that the post-2015 WSIS process should focus on and which goals and targets could monitor the new vision for WSIS beyond 2015?

See response to Question 2. C). “The Open Internet” is a timeless theme. “The Open Internet” would give a useful framework to the analysis of the implementation of WSIS outcomes, as well as to the identification of recent trends and of forward-looking themes and ideas for the future.

4. Any additional comments or suggestions

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