The International Chamber of Commerce has reasserted its commitment to strengthening the Internet as an enabler of business and economic growth, saying that more needs to be done today to ensure its continued development as an open platform for innovation, creativity and the free flow of information. ICC BASIS (Business Action to Support the Information Society) will use its presence at the 9th annual Internet Governance Forum (IGF), taking place in Istanbul, Turkey, between 2-5 September to address how Internet policy decision-making is not going far enough to capitalize on the Internet’s potential for creating new commercial and social opportunities for users around the world.
As part of its focus at the September meeting, ICC BASIS has also affirmed its belief that the existing multistakeholder model of governance is the best way to ensure the creation of policy that maximizes opportunities for future Internet innovation, and is the most effective means of informing Internet policy decision-making at government level.
ICC Secretary General John Danilovich said: “The world is becoming ever more dependent on the Internet to drive social change and attain regional economic growth and prosperity. Global business is dedicated to doing all it can to encourage the adoption of policy that supports the use of the Internet in new ways to connect people with ideas, create jobs, boost trade and reverse the cycle of poverty. At a time when management of the Internet is under scrutiny, we urge the policy-making community to not lose sight of the continued need to focus on creating pro-growth, socially proactive policies designed to keep the Internet open for future generations.”
With a population of over 75 million, Turkey’s economy is in transition and on track to grow faster than much of the industrialized world in the coming years. This year in particular, social media platforms directly contributed to social and economic change in Turkey where, of approximately 50 million Internet users in the country, some 32 million today use platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Presented with a significant e-commerce opportunity, Turkey’s use of the Internet will be key in helping the country fulfil its potential in the global digital economy.
These factors make Istanbul and this year’s IGF an ideal place for ICC BASIS – as the voice of global business – to show that greater efforts are needed to achieve better, more consultative global policy-making. BASIS welcomes the opportunity offered by IGF to galvanize thinking among the multistakeholder community through consensus, and to engage in dialogue on central issues. These include the protection of the Internet as a vehicle of innovation, respect for the rule of law, access, enhancing digital trust and the importance of maintaining cross-border, and global flows of information.
“Faced with the creation of local barriers that threaten to disrupt the phenomenal global Internet growth that has occurred to date, it is vital that we work together more closely to protect and advance the multistakeholder model in policy discussions,” added Mr Danilovich.
“Achieving greater levels of understanding between the diverse range of groups involved in Internet governance is fundamental for creating a common approach to policy development that safeguards and protects the full economic and society potential of our global Internet.”