Information society needs greater global participation, ICC says

  • 30 October 2006

Greater participation in wide-ranging discussions with all parties on an equal footing is the best way to build an "information society for all," the ICC said today at the opening session of the first Internet Governance Forum in Athens.

“ICC salutes the setup of this global discussion forum,” said ICC Secretary General Guy Sebban.

“It is an opportunity to stimulate a more inclusive debate, share information, and foster a wider web of working relationships among business, government, civil society, technical experts and intergovernmental organizations on the information society.”

As the primary voice of global business, ICC is engaged at the IGF through its recently-launched initiative, Business Action to Support the Information Society (BASIS). During the forum’s main sessions, an ICC delegation of leaders from various companies around the world will stress business’s key needs, including:

“Business supports freedom of expression as a fundamental human right that also builds up the knowledge base of an economy,” said Art Reilly, Senior Director of Strategic Technology Policy, Cisco Systems.

Faced with an increasingly complex set of requirements to safeguard cybersecurity, business urges closer collaboration between business and government so future developments related to the Internet do not splinter into different approaches at local, national, regional and global levels.

To increase diversity, more local content and diffusion of multilingual or internationalized domain names (IDNs) are vital to linking more users worldwide. But rollout of internationalized domain names must be handled with extreme care to safeguard smooth global functioning of the system and prevent the breakup of the Internet.

To broaden access to the Internet, governments must establish legal and policy frameworks to stimulate investment and encourage entrepreneurship.

“Adopting the necessary laws to liberalize telecommunications markets and the setup of an independent telecoms regulator are also crucial to widen access,” said Jonne Soininen, Systems Engineering Manager, Networks, Nokia.

In joint sponsorship with the Canadian government, BASIS will host a workshop at the forum on how bring more people into the dialogue on Internet governance, especially those from developing countries.