ICC and ISOC support IGF renewal

  • 15 July 2010

As its mandate comes up for review, the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), a multistakeholder body created by the United Nations for discussion of Internet policy issues, received a strong vote of confidence from the business and technical communities earlier this week.

At a joint event for UN delegates, the ICC and the Internet Society (ISOC) 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 it as an extremely valuable forum where everyone with an interest in the Internet can come together to discuss its future development,” stated Art Reilly, Senior Director of Strategic Technology policy with Cisco Systems, speaking on behalf of ICC and its Business Action to Support the Information Society (BASIS ) initiative.  “We further support the continuity of the IGF’s multistakeholder structures, its Geneva-based secretariat and its voluntary funding.”

The Internet Society echoed these sentiments: “ISOC 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),” commented Lynn St.Amour, President and CEO of the Internet Society. “The IGF inspires people to work effectively in support of multistakeholder and people-centred 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 (MDG)”.

The IGF can directly impact how companies do business around the world, according to Peter M. Robinson, President and CEO of ICC’s American affiliate, the United States Council for International Business (USCIB).  “In order for business to prosper and contribute to the achievement of major societal goals, we need the cooperative, multistakeholder approach that has been the IGF’s hallmark,” he said.

Since the conclusion of the Tunis UN World Summit on Information Society in 2005, the ICC and ISOC have been actively involved in support of implementing the targets, recommendations and commitments of the WSIS as they pertain to the Internet, and to Internet governance, as well as in capacity building and support of Internet standards organizations. The diverse and global communities of these two organizations continue to deploy efforts in a wide range of areas, working to enhance their cooperation and their contribution to the development of Internet-related public policy solutions around the world.

On 13 July 2010, United Nations (UN) member state representatives attended a briefing session in New York, hosted by the ICC and the Internet Society, where the benefits of the IGF were presented from the perspectives of businesses and Internet technologists. The session underlined the importance of ‘enhanced cooperation’ in matters of Internet governance.