Home / News & Speeches / ICC Secretary General addresses opening of Internet Governance Forum

With billions of people still without access to Internet technologies, business is committed to helping to bring them into the fold and to simultaneously ensuring the security and stability of the Internet, the Secretary General of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) said here today in an address to the opening session of the second Internet Governance Forum (IGF).

“Business plays a fundamental role in the continuing development of the Internet through advances such as quantum leaps in computing memory, face-recognition software for better airport security, long-distance medical monitoring, long-distance learning, and banking and crop monitoring by cell phone everywhere, including in developing countries,” said Guy Sebban, ICC Secretary General.

ICC is involved at the IGF through its initiative, Business Action to Support the Information Society (BASIS).

“Business fully supports the IGF as a new model of international cooperation that brings business together with government, academia, the technical community and civil society − with all interlocutors on an equal footing − to discuss the issues that facilitate the use and growth of the Internet,” continued Mr Sebban.

During the forum’s main sessions and workshops, ICC-BASIS members from leading companies spanning the globe will emphasize what business needs to broaden and deepen its role in the continued development of the Internet including:

  • Strengthened cooperation on developing Internet infrastructures
  • Expanded Internet access
  • Pro-competitive policy frameworks
  • Telecom liberalization
  • Protection of intellectual property

To ensure participants can easily take home key information about policy issues and practical recommendations to address the range of issues being addressed at the IGF, ICC’s Commission on E-Business, IT and Telecoms has published an inventory of policy positions and best practice guidelines. The commission has also issued the second edition of its Telecoms Liberalization Guide.

Skills training and education are another challenge which underpins the discussions on Internet governance, Mr Sebban said in his address. Without literacy and the right technical instruction, beginning in schools and continuing through a person’s entire career, people cannot maximize their use of the Internet. This must be addressed − sooner rather than later, he said.

BASIS actively participated in the inaugural IGF in Athens last year. This year, BASIS has expanded its participation at the IGF and will co-organize two workshops. In partnership with the Oxford Internet Institute, BASIS will host a workshop on how to improve Internet security, with special emphasis on authentication and digital identity management.