Business to provide input to UN Secretary General’s Internet Governance Forum advisory group

  • 29 August 2008

Several members of the International Chamber of Commerce and its Business Action to Support the Information Society (BASIS) initiative are among the names of business representatives who have been appointed to lend business expertise to the planning of the upcoming, UN-linked Internet Governance Forum (IGF).

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon recently confirmed the renewed composition of the 50-member multistakeholder advisory group responsible for providing advice in the run up to the IGF which will take place in Hyderabad, India at the end of the year.

“Membership of the advisory group will ensure that the voice of business is heard while also strengthening the multistakeholder links so vital for productive IGF discussions,” said BASIS Chair, and CEO and Managing Director of Tata Consultancy Services Subramaniam Ramadorai. Business representatives selected to serve the advisory group are:

Nitin Desai, Special Adviser for Internet Governance to the UN Secretary General, will continue to serve as Chairman of the multistakeholder advisory group. Heather Shaw, Vice President ICT Policy for ICC’s national committee in the US, the United States Council for International Business, will continue to serve as an advisor to the Chair.

The IGF was established to fulfil one of the commitments laid down by the second World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) which took place in Tunis 2005. The inaugural meeting of the IGF took place in Athens, Greece in 2006. As one of the major outcomes of WSIS, the IGF provides a unique opportunity for all stakeholders to discuss issues of crucial importance to the global development of the Internet. An open consultation with all interested parties was convened on 23 May in Geneva and further open consultations are planned for 16 September, with the advisory group meeting on 17 and 18 September in Geneva. The second IGF took place in Rio de Janeiro in 2007.

To continue the work begun by the ICC-led Coordinating Committee of Business Interlocutors (CCBI) – which organized participation by the worldwide business community at WSIS in Geneva (2003) and in Tunis (2005) – ICC set up Business Action to Support the Information Society (BASIS), an initiative to serve as the cross-sectoral voice of global business in the emerging international dialogue on Internet governance issues and the use of information and communication technologies to stimulate economic growth and social development. BASIS provides a focal point for outreach to and involvement of business associations and companies from around the world, from all sectors, and of all sizes.