Businesses urge continuation of IGF

  • 17 September 2010

As the fifth consecutive Internet Governance Forum (IGF) draws to a close, ICC Business Action to Support the Information Society (BASIS) has urged participants to share experiences and best practices of this year’s forum in their home countries so they can inform decision-making at a local level and continue to tackle ongoing issues such as digital inclusion.

Comprised of companies and associations from across sectors and geographies, BASIS believes the IGF provides a great opportunity for the generation of new ideas, discussion of real experiences and challenges, and the sharing of best practices, all key elements to inform fair and progressive policymaking.

Topics including data security and privacy, cloud computing, and access and diversity all took centre stage at this year’s IGF and reflected the fast-paced and advancing nature of the Internet which continues to unearth new regulatory challenges.

Art Reilly, Senior Director for Strategic Technology Policy with Cisco Systems and ICC/BASIS member said: “The IGF is a unique environment that should not be taken for granted. By offering an open and frank dialogue on the full spectrum of Internet issues, the outcomes of the IGF can promote economic development, enable innovation and creativity, and bring more people into the Information Society.”

Business leaders also applauded the catalyst effect the global IGF has had on the number of national and regional initiatives that take place each year. These forums provide regular opportunities for participants to hear local perspectives and engage in multistakeholder interaction.

Echoing the founding principles of this year’s umbrella theme – developing the future together – IGF 2010 had more remote participation than ever before. Stakeholders from countries as far reaching as St Lucia and Kenya joined workshops, panels and debates through remote hubs, and engaged in lively and interactive conversations. Looking ahead, a key focus will be to drive numbers of remote participants and increase representation from small- and medium-sized businesses, and developing country stakeholders.

Providing his closing thoughts on this year’s forum, Mr Reilly said: “The variety of workshops and panels that have taken place over the last four days provided attendees with the opportunity to discuss complex issues directly related to the regulatory environment of the Internet. This insight is invaluable. By gathering a range of stakeholder insights we are in the best possible position to inform Internet policy making. That is why ICC BASIS continues to support the IGF in its unique format and based on its founding principles.”

On the penultimate day of the IGF, BASIS members also joined an informal consultation aimed at establishing a working group to discuss improvements made over the last five years and for the IGF in the future. ICC BASIS members support the involvement of representatives from all stakeholders in this working group.

The 2010 forum was closed by Valdas Sutkus, President of ICC Lithuania who spoke on behalf of ICC BASIS. In his speech, Mr Sutkus joined other stakeholders in reiterating the importance of IGF continuation.

Closing speech available from 16:30 CET on September 16: