ICC addresses ministers; highlights need for greater cooperation to capitalize on economic potential of Internet

  • 5 November 2012
ICC Digital

Ahead of Internet Governance Forum (IGF) 2012, which opens in Azerbaijan tomorrow, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has stressed the importance of both the multistakeholder approach to Internet policy creation, and enhanced cooperation in stimulating economic growth.

Speaking to approximately one hundred ministers and delegates at the host country ministerial event entitled ‘Addressing the challenges of a hyper-connected world,’ ICC Secretary General Jean-Guy Carrier noted that the key to maintaining a robust Internet and creating future economic growth lies in open dialogue between government, business, the Internet technical community and civil society to achieve informed policy choices.

“There is a clear and positive correlation between investment in the Internet and the growth of economic activity,” he said. “To truly capitalize on this potential for economic growth, cooperation needs to be facilitated and promoted across the whole spectrum of organizations addressing Internet-related issues, including those that are private sector-led, multistakeholder and intergovernmental.”

His comments coincided with another event today entitled ‘Enhanced Cooperation in Internet Governance: From Deadlock to Dialogue,’ organized, by the International Chamber of Commerce and its Business Action to Support the Information Society Initiative (ICC-BASIS) in partnership with the Association for Progressive Communications and the Internet Society and with the support of the governments of Brazil, Kenya and Egypt, all former IGF host countries. The discussions, together with today’s ministerial event, highlighted the many cooperative efforts that have emerged over the past years, and examined areas for further improvement.

“Multistakeholder involvement and enhanced cooperation is the key to promoting policies that advocate market entry and investments, and in attaining greater geographic coverage of networks,” said Mr Carrier. “Governments can capitalize on the economic potential of the Internet by encouraging investments in broadband infrastructure, stimulating demand for connectivity and promoting a culture of security in the broadband sector. This can be done by ensuring appropriate legislation is in place to combat cybercrime in its various forms so that the online experience remains trusted, safe and enjoyable for billions of people. Governments must strengthen efforts to protect the rule of law online. This includes the protection of intellectual property rights and freedom of expression, as well as encouraging investment in the next generation of broadband technologies so that people around the world can benefit from the digital revolution.”

Convened under the UN Secretary General, the IGF is a unique international platform that welcomes frank and open discussion on Internet governance issues from all interest groups including governments, business leaders, the Internet technical community and civil society. Of the 2,000 registered participants at the 2011 IGF in Nairobi, more than fifty percent of attendees were African and nearly a third were from the Western Europe and Other Groups (WEOG) category. The Forum also attracted representatives from 125 different governments and a host of remote participants.

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