Business and Technical Communities Support Renewal of Internet Governance Forum Mandate

  • 21 October 2010

As the United Nations General Assembly prepares to decide whether to renew the mandate of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) – a multistakeholder body created by the UN for discussion of Internet policy issues – the forum received a strong vote of confidence from the business and technical communities today.

At a joint event for UN delegates, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the Internet Society urged UN member states to continue the mandate of the IGF, with its founding principles intact, as a unique space for exchange on important Internet governance policy matters. “Global business strongly supports continuation of the IGF, viewing the current IGF model as uniquely flexible and effective in addressing challenging Internet policy issues,” said Jeff Brueggeman, Vice-President of Public Policy, AT&T,speaking on behalf of ICC and its Business Action to Support the Information Society (BASIS) initiative. “The IGF allows for candid discussion on Internet policy and emerging issues among governments, business, the Internet technical community and civil society, which has lasting impact on national, regional and global policy decisions. Business is committed to continued improvement of the IGF process, such as greater participation of stakeholders from developing economies. As demonstrated at the recent IGF session in Vilnius, Lithuania, there has been marked improvement in active participation in this unique forum.” The Internet Society echoed these sentiments. “The Internet Society and its membership believe that the IGF is one of the most effective and successful outcomes from the UN’s World Summit on Information Society (WSIS),” said Constance Bommelaer, Senior Manager, Strategic Global Engagement. “The IGF inspires people to work effectively in support of multistakeholder and people-centered development of the Internet – a key goal of the WSIS. It promotes and supports work in communities, in countries, in all regions and at the global level. The IGF provides an opportunity for governments, business, civil society and the Internet community to share experiences and best practices that can inform decision making in their home communities to address the issues of economic and social growth and development that are essential to achieving the Millennium Development Goals.” Today’s event, organized with the support of the French government, took place at the Millennium UN Plaza Hotel in New York City. It focused on the IGF’s benefits from the perspectives of different stakeholder groups and underscored the importance of “enhanced cooperation” in matters of Internet governance. It featured a panel discussion including speakers from ICC, the Internet Society, the UK government and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, which administers the global Internet domain name system. Since the conclusion of the Tunis UN World Summit on Information Society in 2005, ICC and the Internet Society have actively supported the implementation of WSIS’s Internet-related commitments, including improved Internet governance, capacity-building and support of Internet standards organizations. The diverse and global communities represented by these two organizations continue to enhance their cooperation and their contribution to the development of Internet-related public policy solutions around the world. About the Internet Governance Forum The UN World Summit on Information Society (Tunis 2005 preceded by Geneva 2003) created the Internet Governance Forum, a multi-stakeholder forum for the discussion of “public policy issues related to key elements of Internet governance in order to foster the sustainability, robustness, security, stability and development of the Internet.” At Tunis, UN member states also recognized “the need for enhanced cooperation in the future, to enable governments, on an equal footing, to carry out their roles and responsibilities, in international public policy issues pertaining to the Internet, but not in the day-to-day technical and operational matters, that do not impact on international public policy issues.” The IGF encourages open dialogue among all relevant stakeholders at the national, regional, and international levels.  This open debate is essential to the process of developing people-centric public policy related to the Internet and to the ongoing effective management of Internet resources. About the Internet Society The Internet Society (ISOC) is a non-profit organization founded in 1992 to provide leadership in Internet related standards, education, and policy. The Internet Society is the organizational home of the Internet Engineering Task Force, the Internet’s premier technical standards body. With offices in Washington, D.C., and Geneva, Switzerland, it is dedicated to ensuring the open development, evolution, and use of the Internet for the benefit of people throughout the world.
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