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Internet Governance Forum Concludes meeting

Posted by benjamin-nicolau en noviembre 27, 2009

Internet Governance Forum Concludes meeting

The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) concluded today its fourth meeting in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, where it met from 15 to 18 November 2009 with calls from participants to extend the Internet Governance Forum beyond its current mandate. With more than 1800 participants from 112 countries, the 2009 Forum saw the largest attendance record since its inception in 2006. The participants reflected the diversity of internet users and came from governments, international organizations, the Internet community, the private sector, civil society and the media.

Discussions in Sharm el-Sheikh, chaired by Tarek Kamel, the Egyptian Minister of Communications and Information Technology, examined ways to improve Internet access by all and promote local content and cultural diversity; ensure the safety of the Internet and fight cybercrime; manage key Internet resources such as the root server system, technical standards, interconnection and telecommunications, the domain name system and Internet protocol addresses. The meeting also discussed new issues related to the continued growth of social networks, and the ensuing governance issues that are emerging, in particular, the need for new approaches regarding privacy and data protection, rules applicable to user-generated content and copyrighted material, and issues of freedom of expression and illegal content. Parallel to the main sessions on these issues, more than 100 workshops, best practice forums, dynamic coalition meetings and open forums were held around the broad themes of the main sessions and the overall mandate of the IGF.

The Forum, which was set up with an initial mandate of five years that expire next year, extensively discussed the issue of the future of the Forum beyond 2010, the end of its current mandate of 5 years. Sha Zukang, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, who led formal consultations with Forum participants on the “desirability of the continuation of the Forum”, stressed the centrality of the principle of inclusiveness and the need for continued discussions on public policy issues related to the Internet in some form. A report on these consultations will be presented to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who will then communicate his recommendation to the General-Assembly.

High ranking government officials who took the floor at the opening of the meeting agreed that the IGF should continue to meet beyond 2010, stressing that IGF had proven its usefulness. Support for the continuation of the Forum was expressed all through the Sharm el-Sheikh meeting and reiterated in closing statements by representatives from all stakeholder groups, including state officials, many of whom said they were already looking forward to the meeting which Kenya hoped to organize in 2011.

In his closing statement, the Chairman of the 2009 IGF meeting saw wide consensus on “the need for the continuation of the IGF process with the legitimacy provided by the U.N. umbrella as well as the dynamic nature of the event”, which was very clear in Sharm el-Sheikh and needed to continue.

In a chairman’s summary distributed at the end of the meeting, it was noted that many speakers emphasized the usefulness of the IGF as a platform for dialogue, free from the pressures of negotiations. Most of the speakers who supported improvements would like the IGF to refocus its attention on certain points such as international public policy issues; capacity-building; participation by developing countries; improved transparency; improved communications; improved remote participation; creating a data base for best practices; more visibility for outcomes, and possibly the ability to make recommendations. Many speakers supported a continuation of the Forum as it is, that is to continue the IGF as a multistakeholder platform that brings people together to discuss issues, exchange information and share best practices, but not to make decisions, nor to have highly visible outputs. Other speakers, while supporting a continuation of the IGF along similar lines to its current form, they called for some changes. The proposed changes ranged from small improvements to major changes in its functioning, such as adding provisions that would allow it to produce outputs and decisions on a multistakeholder consensus basis. Most of those who supported the continuation of the forum would like to do so for at least another five year term.

Issued by the UN Department of Public Information

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Internet Governance Forum

Posted by benjamin-nicolau en noviembre 17, 2009

Internet Governance Forum (IGF) Meeting 2009

Programme for the Main Sessions

The objective of the programme is to maximize the opportunity for open and inclusive dialogue and the exchange of ideas; to try and create feedback loops between the different types of sessions; to create opportunities to share best practices and experiences; to listen, dialogue and learn as well as to identify key themes that would, in the future, benefit from the multistakeholder perspective of the IGF.

“Internet Governance – Creating Opportunities for all” is the overall title of the meeting. The agenda is as follows:
• Managing critical Internet resources;
• Security, openness and privacy;
• Access and diversity;
• Internet governance in the light of WSIS principles;
• Taking stock and the way forward – on the desirability of the continuation of the Forum;
• Emerging issues: Impact of Social Networks.

The basic format of the previous meetings, with main sessions, workshops and other events, will be maintained.

Each of the main sessions will be an opportunity for productive exchange between all stakeholders on policy approaches, challenges, and practical options to address them. The goal is to discuss practices or issues and their relevance to all stakeholders.

Internet governance – Setting the Scene:

Orientation Session: 15 November, 10:00 – 11:30

This session will give participants background on Internet governance in general and the IGF in particular. The intent of the session is to improve participants’ ability to engage in and benefit from the IGF meeting. It will explain the basic functioning of the IGF and the issues it has been dealing with to assist in creating a common background with regard to the depth and focus of the discussions and maximize participation. The session will also give an overview of the programme.

Regional Perspectives: 15 November, 11:30 – 13:00

This session will bring in different regional experiences, as they emerged from various regional and national meetings.

Opening Ceremony: 15 November, 14:00 – 17:00

Opening Session:

Managing Critical Internet Resources:
16 November, 10:00 – 13:00

This session will be held in the form of an open discussion, without panellists, in order to promote greater participation by all stakeholders to inform and provide their perspectives. It will be managed by the Chair and moderators with resource persons on call in the audience. The following issues were mentioned, among others, to be addressed under this heading: 

• Transition from IPv4 to IPv6;
• The JPA, the IANA contract and the role of governments;
• The internationalization of critical Internet resources management;
• The importance of new TLDs and IDNs for development;
• Enhanced cooperation.

Security, Openness and Privacy: 16 November, 15:00 – 18:00

The discussion of this cluster of issues will be introduced by a panel of practitioners to set the stage and bring out options for how to deal with the policy and practical choices related to the different facets of these themes. The discussion will cover practical aspects of the coordination needed to secure the network (e.g. to fight spam) and their relationship to issues pertaining to openness (e.g. ensuring the open architecture of the Internet).

Issues to be discussed will include:
• The respect for privacy as a business advantage;
• Identity theft, identity fraud, and information leakage;
• Web 2.0;
• Social networks;
• Cloud computing and privacy, e.g. control of one’s own data and data retention;
• Cultural and technical perspectives on the regulation of illegal Web contents;
• Regulatory models for privacy;
• Ensuring the open architecture of the Internet;
• Net Neutrality;
• Enabling frameworks for freedom;
• Ethical dimensions of the Internet.

Access and Diversity: 17 November, 10:00 – 13:00 

This session will be split into two and draw in the outcomes of related workshops, which could compare and contrast approaches and best practices.


• Access for people with disabilities;
• Multilingualism and IDNs.

Issues mentioned for this session included:
• National and international regulatory issues;
• National and regional backbones;
• Infrastructure;
• Interconnection costs;
• Enabling Internet Exchange Points (IXPs);
• Modes of access and regulatory challenges;
• Safety and redundancy of access, e.g. cable cuts;
• Issues in mobile access.

Internet Governance in the Light of the WSIS Principles: 17 November, 15:00 – 18:00

This session builds on the WSIS Principles, as contained in the Geneva Declaration of Principles and the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society, in particular on Paragraphs 29 and 31. The Session will be based on Paragraph 72 i) of the Tunis Agenda which mandates the IGF to “promote and assess, on an ongoing basis, the embodiment of WSIS principles in Internet governance processes”. This session will be held in the form of an open discussion without panellists.

Host Country Honourary Session: 18 November 10:00 – 11:15

“Preparing the Young Generations in the Digital Age: A Shared Responsibility”

The session will discuss how IGF 2009 has created “Opportunities For All”, with a special focus on young people, as the primary users and innovators of the Internet. Through a synthesis of the past 3 days activities, the session will illustrate the way young people were integrated in the debates on diversity, openness, privacy and development, and most importantly on empowerment and online safety issues. The session will demonstrate the vision and achievements in e-safety and global challenges facing the international community in this particular area.

Taking Stock and Looking Forward – on the desirability of the continuation of the Forum:
Part I: 18 November, 11:30 – 13:00
Lunch Break: 13:00 – 14:30
Part II: 18 November, 14:30 – 16:00

The focus of this three hour session will be: “formal consultations with Forum participants” on the “desirability of the continuation of the Forum”, as stipulated by Paragraph 76 of the Tunis Agenda. These consultations have been initiated by an online process, starting with a questionnaire prepared by the IGF secretariat. A synthesis paper reflecting all commentaries received is available in all UN languages.

The discussions will be held on the basis of a pre-established speakers list. Interested participants can request a speaking slot by sending an email to with the heading “taking stock”.

Emerging Issues – Impact of Social Networks: 18 November, 16:00 – 18:00

This session will focus on the development on the development of social media (social networks, user-generated content sites, micro-blogging, collaboration tools, etc. and explore whether this development requires to modify traditional policy approaches, in particular regarding privacy and data protection, rules applicable to user-generated content and copyrighted material, as well as freedom of expression and illegal content. The session will also address the importance of the “terms of service” of large platforms, how they are developed and their relationship with emerging business models based on behavioral analysis.

Closing Ceremony: 18 November, 18:00 – 18:30

source UN

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