Thank you, Mr. Chair. I wish to make some comments today on behalf of the U.S. Council for International Business, and also as a member of ICC and its BASIS initiative.
While recognizing that the Secretary General will consider the mandate of the Advisory Group following feedback offered today, we wish to stress the importance of timing. Many of the recommendations made today regarding building on the successful first meeting of the IGF can be easily resolved with additional timing. We are pleased that this meeting has been convened to assess the Athens meeting and to begin to consider the details related to Rio. ICC BASIS members will be meeting next month in Paris and these details will be useful in promoting business participation throughout our global business network in Rio.
We believe that the advisory group should continue its work. Those members that wish not to continue in this capacity can be replaced, while ensuring the balance among stakeholder groups within the advisory group. We’d also like to suggest that it be further clarified that advisory group members act in their personal capacity. We believe this will allow for more full and active participation of all members in the planning for the Rio meeting.
An active role of all stakeholders is key to the success of the IGF, as all stakeholders can contribute to a greater and deeper understanding of the various issues and perspectives.
Several delegations have emphasized the need for greater participation of all stakeholders from developing countries. By emphasizing more practical issues within the discussions at the IGF, including the exchange of national experiences and practices, all stakeholders can benefit from the exchanges that are made possible by the IGF convening a range of participants. A variety of creative formats should be utilized for the IGF sessions to engage participants in a lively and productive discussion.
Access is one theme that, while discussed in Athens, could benefit from additional discussion in Rio. As we heard in Athens, access issues are fundamental to bringing the benefits of the information society to more people all around the world.
We also wish to add that summary reports are useful and appropriate mechanism to reflect the variety of views and the complexity of the issues. Summary reports, which supplement the verbatim transcriptions, fulfill the mandate given to the IGF in the Tunis Agenda. They both provide transparency for those that can not attend the IGF meeting and highlight the current key issues.