Business contributes to IGF regional initiatives in East Africa and Europe
ICC and its Business Action to Support the Information Society (BASIS) initiative have applauded the emergence of several regional and national IGF initiatives as momentum builds in the lead up to the 4th Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in November.
Reflecting on the IGF East Africa, which took place in Nairobi, Kenya on 7-9 September, Waudo Siganga, Computer Society of Kenya and member of BASIS said: “The main message is to encourage policy approaches that facilitate investment in infrastructure and that do not restrict the development and use of new technologies.” The event drew 400 participants including members of parliament from four countries in the region, government officials, business and civil society.
“There was a real focus on how to solve access and deployment issues by taking full advantage of the range of experience and stakeholder perspectives,” said AT&T Vice President of Public Policy, Jeff Brueggeman, who brought a global business perspective to the gathering. “This is a real value-add for all stakeholders and is why these regional events are important for business to participate in,” he added.
Kenya, who will host the next meeting of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in March 2010, announced their candidacy to host the IGF in 2011.
With stakeholders including governments, business, the technical community and civil society, international dialogue among all relevant groups is essential in Internet policy development and the management of Internet resources. Business supports the unique IGF model, which addresses Internet policy issues at international level within a multistakeholder environment.
ICC BASIS believes that the IGF-related initiatives are a means of strengthening the involvement of local sources of knowledge and expertise in Internet governance issues at the national and regional levels.
Massimo Lucchina, Director Engineering and Site Director, Cisco International, represented broader business in the opening session of the recent European Dialogue on Internet Governance (EuroDIG), which took place at the European Broadcasting Union’s headquarters in Geneva on 14-15 September.
Joining distinguished representatives from all stakeholder groups, Mr Lucchina said: “The IGF and EuroDIG are excellent forums for all the main actors to meet, share experiences and grasp the complexity of the issues.
Now in its second year, the EuroDIG attracted over 200 participants from across Europe and other regions of the world, with representation from governments, business, civil society, technical experts, parliamentarians and international organizations.
Mr Lucchina went on to say: “We are very keen to learn about the challenges that administrations face and their inter-linkages; very keen to have another direct channel, besides the marketplace, to learn about consumer needs; very keen to share the trends in technology evolution.” He called on participants to learn and share knowledge ‘”better and faster” but most of all together.
Emphasizing that technology changes and innovation, and expanded and innovative new usages of Internet technology are having a deeper impact in our day-to-day lives, Mr Lucchina concluded: “It is only via a common learning path and by sharing our experiences that we will all (industry and government) be able to take proper and thoughtful decisions for the future.”
The EuroDIG sessions and workshops covered a range of Internet governance issues including access, choice in services, freedom of expression, human rights and the Internet, and cyber-crime. A roundtable session of European parliamentary perspectives also featured in the programme.
Bringing global business priorities to discussions, ICC BASIS members will actively contribute to informal meetings on 16-17 September that will shape the programme for the 4th IGF in Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt from 15-18 November.