The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) will use its presence at the 7th annual Internet Governance Forum (IGF) next month to reinforce the value of a multistakeholder approach to public policy development. As part of its focus on the important role that the Internet plays in job creation and economic growth, ICC BASIS (Business Action to Support the Information Society) will hold dedicated workshops on two key topics that impact the openness of the Internet and the free flow of information online; ‘Solutions for enabling cross-border data flows’, in partnership with the Internet Society (ISOC) and ‘Technology, economic and societal opportunities and women’ in partnership with the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) and the Government of Kenya.
ICC promotes international trade and investment, helping corporations meet the challenges and opportunities of globalization. As the voice of global business at multistakeholder and UN forums where development of the Internet and ICTs are key topics, ICC BASIS believes that the multistakeholder approach to Internet governance provides the best platform for achieving the fairness and openness that is required to stimulate innovation, investment and economic growth and offer greater opportunities for emerging and developing economies.
ICC Secretary General Jean-Guy Carrier said: “Business must continue to play a significant role at the IGF to ensure that the Internet can continue contributing to economic growth and job creation as an integral part of an effective 21st century rules-based multilateral trading system.”
ICC BASIS Chair and Tata Consultancy Services Vice-Chairman Subramanian Ramadorai said: “In the lead-up to this year’s IGF, we remain convinced of the need to bring the benefits of the Internet and information and communication technologies to more people through policy formed by partnership, dialogue and enhanced cooperation between stakeholders. The IGF continues to offer a unique opportunity for everyone to come together to share, learn and listen on an equal footing in a non-negotiating, non-decision-making environment. This is the best way to ensure that genuine progress is made towards addressing some of today’s most important global economic and social Internet issues.”
Providing a forum to delve deeper into core issues, ICC BASIS workshops are designed to complement the main theme of this year’s IGF, ‘Internet Governance for Sustainable Human, Economic and Social Development’, and will bring together participants from business, government, civil society and the Internet technical community. Through these workshops and its presence at the IGF every year, ICC BASIS raises awareness of what business needs in order to continue contributing to the development of the information society.
The ‘Technology, economic and societal opportunities and women’, workshop will address a range of issues such as enhancing women’s rights through access to information and the Internet and some of the Internet, economic, social and educational opportunities that exist for women now and in the future.
With confirmed panellists from Oracle, the Swedish Ministry of Enterprise, the Internet Society and the Colombian National Telecommunications Commission (CRC), the workshop entitled ‘Solutions for enabling cross-border data flows’ will examine new and emerging policy challenges including the relationship between privacy and the free flow of information as well as data sharing across borders and across different legal environments.
“The Internet continues to play a pivotal role in transforming the lives of individuals and in building economies, communities and industries around the world,” said Mr Ramadorai. “ICC BASIS and its members recognize that there is an undeniable correlation between the adoption of the Internet and global prosperity and our collective aim at this year’s IGF is to find ways to maximize and enhance this for greater universal benefit.”
Convened under the UN Secretary General, the IGF is a unique international platform that welcomes frank and open discussion on Internet governance issues. Last year the Forum attracted over 2000 registered participants as well as a host of remote participants. IGF 2012 will be held in Baku, Azerbaijan, on 6-9 November.