Internet Governance 31 March 2014

WTDC Plenary Remarks by Kathy Brown – As delivered 31 March 2014

Thank you, Mr. Chairman,

Mr. Chairman, Secretary-General, ITU elected officials, Excellencies, distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentleman, it is a pleasure for the Internet Society to attend the 2014 World Telecommunication Development Conference, and to be here in Dubai. We thank our gracious hosts, the government of the United Arab Emirates and appreciate their kind hospitality.

The Internet Society is a global, cause-based organization dedicated to the belief that global communications and the Internet can transform the lives of people worldwide. Everyone, in every country, should have access to the opportunities the global information society provides.

From its very beginnings, the Internet Society has been committed to Internet development. Early ISOC pioneers deployed technical infrastructure in emerging markets and trained many of the people who are now Internet leaders in their local communities. Since 2008, ISOC has trained nearly 1,000 people in 16 countries across Africa alone in network management, the domain name system, Internet exchange point (IXP) development, and interconnection.

Our collective challenge these two weeks, and going forward, is to harness this tremendous momentum to unleash innovation across all sectors of society – to improve health care, to provide access to online banking, and to reform education and create opportunities for our young people. The ITU-D plays an important role in this regard. I am personally honored to participate in the ITU’s m-Powering Initiative, which aims to extend the full benefits of mobile technologies for remote and rural communities.

We can come together through organizations like the ITU-D, the Internet Society, and many others to create the enabling environment for the next generation of technology; to improve the efficiency of traffic exchange within countries and across borders; to build human capacity; and to strengthen network resiliency in order to withstand natural disasters.

Four priorities form the basis of the Internet Society’s contribution to the 2014 WTDC.

Clearly, there are amazing success stories from countries around the world and lessons that can be learned from these successes. The ITU-D provides a platform to discuss best practices and to build the partnerships that will drive future growth.

The first is an enabling environment for basic infrastructure investment in areas like submarine cables, mobile connectivity and Internet Exchange Points.

The second priority is cross-border connectivity, which can come in the form of regional partnerships and shared infrastructure projects.

The third priority is capacity building, to make sure that there is sufficient expertise on the ground, both individual and institutional, to support Internet growth. One key area for partnership and collaboration between ISOC and the ITU-D is in the area of combatting spam. We look forward to working more closely with the ITU Development Sector so that, together, we can connect policymakers with the technical community to address this challenging problem.

Fourth, in a world that had 295 natural disasters in one year alone, we need to focus on emergency communications and resiliency. In a crisis situation, continuity and sustainability of communications is critical.

The Internet Society looks forward to helping set the development agenda of the ITU-D. We come together with the knowledge that we all benefit when new communities and users come online.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

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