Open Consultation-Internet Governance Forum (IGF)
Thank you, sir. Thank you to the Chair.
I am a member of the MAG from the business community and under the ICC Pakistan.
I would like to start by thanking and recognizing the efforts and to the host country, India, in those very trying times and in the midst of the abhorrent incidents in Mumbai and which continue to plague our region. I would also like to recognize and support the host country’s efforts in moving ahead with and continuing with the very important multistakeholder event successfully. In this, since I myself was unable from Pakistan to be in India for this event, I would like to underscore the importance and recognize the importance of the remote participation facilities made available. And hence, support the continuity of this process and underscore the importance of this process for developing countries.
The use of remote participation also shows the enthusiasm of regional Internet users in the region of Pakistan and others who may not have been able to attend but were able to utilize these services and show their enthusiasm for the IGF process in those regions. This led to several initiatives locally in the countries and in our region. For instance, the IGF has become a point of reference, and a source of best practices. We support the concept that ISOC just mentioned earlier i.e. people look towards the “output” from the IGF, and this has become the basis for policy discussions and issues related exchanges of best practices within policymaking circles in our region.
This has affected matters in the last two to three years, ranging from legislation, regulation, and advocacy. In particular, the introduction of the concept of a national IGF process has been successful in Pakistan. In legislation; matters such as cyber security and the cyber crime bill which was followed by the promulgation of the Ordinance, including draft privacy legislation process, have been greatly influenced by the informed discussions that have taken place at the IGF and many participants from these developing countries who went to the IGF have come back and fed ideas from the IGF back into their local and regional processes. Therefore, we recognize the importance of the policy dialogue and exchange of best practice that take place at this important forum.
We would like to underscore the importance of these sorts of initiatives and results, and hope that the outputs that have taken place are included in the review process as a successes of this very important, nonbinding, neutral and truly multistakeholder process.
Looking forward, I would state that we’re looking forward to the Web site of the IGF being updated with the proceedings, as it was in Rio, for all the updates and proceedings of Hyderabad also being made available online since they are not available at the moment.
With regard to the earlier comments in the connection with the balance between the plenary and the workshops, we would also again support the concept that we need to explore more efficient means to have them feed into each other.
Also, another comment made earlier with regard to the level of discussion being raised: we support that because we think there have been enough IGFs now to rise from the 101 standard to a higher level.
In general, we believe that a special emphasis on the cross cutting themes, human and institutional capacity building and development will further the discussions on all the main themes at the next IGF in Egypt.
This could be accomplished by having a special session on each of these cross-cutting themes and addressing the main topics from those angles. With regard to multilingualism, we believe the discussions in the next IGF in 2009 at Egypt need to be deepened to focus more on policy implications and inform policy choices through the greater exchange of best practices.
With regard to the access theme, earlier discussions on access have ripened at the IGF in Hyderabad, and the sessions there highlighted the need for a new approach for the IGF and Internet governance discussions of access issues at the IGF at Egypt. We would suggest that access be discussed in a real capacity building and exchange of best practices format at the IGF in Egypt.
With regard to dimensions of cyber security and cyber crime, the education and capacity building remain critical issues, with end users to ensure that propagators of cyber crime and compromised devices are maintained and defended against cyber attacks and the operators are aware of procedures and tools to mitigate the risks through the exchange of best practices at the IGF. We support the IGF as a useful forum for discussing the important child protection issues and exchanging best practices and policy approaches. We do not, however, believe that this particular security issue is the only one issue that needs further discussion at the IGF in general at the IGF in Egypt this year. We therefore, believe that more than just the child protection issue should be discussed at the next IGF in Egypt.
Thank you for this opportunity, sir.