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Internet governance was first placed on the diplomatic agenda at the Word Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), which was held in Geneva, Switzerland in 2003 and Tunis, Tunisia in 2005.

The Geneva phase dealt with broader issues and established the Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG).

The report, prepared by the WGIG, was used as the basis for negotiations in Tunis. The Tunis Agenda for the Information Society, adopted here, elaborated on the question of Internet governance (definition, Internet governance issues and priorities) and established the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), a multistakeholder assembly convoked by the UN Secretary General with a mandate of five years.

The IGF, a truly multistakeholder event with participation of governments, business, civil society and the technical community, has a unique organisational structure that allows for open discussions between all stakeholders at an equal footing.