ICC welcomes Internet Governance Forum advisory group

  • 18 May 2006

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) commends the selection of the Internet Governance Forum's multistakeholder advisory group, whose members were announced today by the United Nations Secretary General.

The 46-member advisory group will help prepare the first Internet Governance Forum (IGF) event, a UN-linked global gathering to discuss issues of critical importance to the Internet, which will take place in Athens from 30 October to 2 November.

“ICC welcomed the opportunity to propose business candidates to the UN and we are pleased to see that business is well represented in the final group. The seven business members from around the world will contribute their expertise and experience to this group’s vital work.” said Guy Sebban, Secretary General of ICC.

Business representatives include:
Michael D. Gallagher, Chairman of the Communications Group, Perkins Coie LLC, Washington D.C.
Ayesha Hassan, Senior Policy Manager, e-Business, Information Technology, and Telecoms, Executive in charge of Information and Communication Technology Policy, International Chamber of Commerce, Paris
Peter Hellmonds, Vice President, Public and International Affairs, Siemens AG, Munich
Abdullah Kafi, Managing Director, J A N Associates Limited; former President, Bangladesh Computer Society, Dacca
Masanobu Katoh, Corporate Vice President; President, Law and Intellectual Property Unit and Security Export Control Headquarters, Fujitsu Limited, Tokyo
Nii Quaynor, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Network Computer Systems; President, Internet Society of Ghana, Accra
Charles Sha’ban, Executive Director, Regional Office, Abu-Ghazaleh Intellectual Property (AGIP) Amman

Twenty places in the advisory group are earmarked for representatives from governments. Members of civil society and technical experts make up the rest of the group.

“Business believes that it is essential that more people across the globe are able to meaningfully participate in Internet governance issues. There is a pressing need to build human capacities on these issues through education and training. The IGF event in Athens should focus on these matters. Without broader participation, the other Internet-related issues cannot be addressed with all players,” Mr. Sebban added.

“Business has valuable technical, practical and innovative experience to contribute to the IGF and this multistakeholder group,” said Charles Sha’ban, executive director of Abu-Ghazaleh Intellectual Property and a member of the advisory body.

ICC recently conceived a new initiative, Business Action to Support the Information Society. BASIS will provide business input to the continuing global dialogue to implement the commitments outlined at the World Summits on the Information Society (WSIS), including the IGF.

BASIS carries on the important work ICC has done for years on these issues through the Coordinating Committee of Business Interlocutors and its policymaking arm, the Commission on E-Business, IT and Telecoms. ICC is now recognized as the most authoritative voice of global business on these subjects.

As one of the major outcomes of the WSIS summits in Geneva (2003) and in Tunis (2005), IGF was established to discuss issues of crucial importance to the global development of the Internet. An open consultation with all interested parties convenes on 19 May in Geneva, followed by the first meeting of the multistakeholder advisory group on 22 and 23 May in Geneva.