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Internet Governance 12 February 2014

Internet technical community urging WSIS consultations to stay open to all stakeholders

10 February 2014

H.E. Mr. Mohamed Khaled Khiari

Permanent Mission of Tunisia to the United Nations

31 Beekman Place

New York, N.Y. 10022 

H.E. Mr. Jarmo Viinanen

Permanent Mission of Finland to the United Nations

866 United Nations Plaza, Suite 222

New York, N.Y. 10017


Your Excellencies,

We would like to congratulate you for your appointment as co-facilitators of the General Assembly’s consultations to finalize the modalities for the overall review of the implementation of the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). We regard this as a significant exercise.

We would like to take this opportunity to suggest that all steps of the review process include all relevant stakeholders. Rooted in the commitments made in Geneva (2003) and Tunis (2005), we believe such an open, inclusive and transparent process will lead to a stronger review outcome, which will be welcomed by the global Internet community, as opposed to being potentially criticized for not being inclusive.

Since the Tunis Summit, the Internet technical community has been actively involved in supporting the implementation of the targets, recommendations and commitments of the WSIS as they pertain to the Internet. This commitment has continued to this day, through our participation to the WSIS+10 Review process led by UNESCO in February 2013, and currently under ITU’s coordination for its second phase (due later this year). We have also played an active role in the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), which continues to play an essential role in providing an opportunity for policy makers and other stakeholders to interact and shape a common understanding on key issues.

In accordance with the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society, the WSIS Review should assess “the multi-stakeholder implementation at the international level (…) taking into account the themes and action lines in the Geneva Plan of Action1”. It should also reaffirm the principles and commitments made in Geneva in 2003 and in Tunis in 2005 and emphasize the importance of the multistakeholder approach at all levels2. We would note that Review is not of the Tunis Agenda itself.

  1. Paragraph 108. Tunis Agenda
  2. This was re-emphasized in the 2013 WSIS+10 High-Level Statement, which stated that “the multi-stakeholder approach and implementation at the international level proved to be a considerable asset in taking forward the WSIS themes and Action Lines.”


In addition – and in the spirit of living up to paragraph 80 of the Tunis Agenda regarding the role of ICTs to support the Millennium Development Goals – we believe that any vision for a post-2015 WSIS Agenda should strongly focus on crafting synergies between ICTs and the goals of sustainable development. Achieving these goals will require a secure, stable and resilient Internet, based on open and collaborative policy, standards and technology development.

We are, therefore, ready to assist in identifying ways that would allow the technical community – as well as all relevant stakeholders – to provide input in the consultations you are currently leading.


Constance Bommelaer

Senior Director, Global Policy Partnerships

The Internet Society

Email: [email protected]

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