UN Internet Governance Forum closes, highlights linkages with sustainable development

Students of Computer Sciences at Khowaja Institute of Information Technology (KIIT) in Hyderabad, Pakistan learn computing skills. Photo: Visual News Associates/World Bank

14 November 2015 – Consensus at the closing 10th Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Brazil today underscored the contribution of Information Communications Technologies (ICTs) and the Internet to the achievement of the recently adopted 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the United Nations announced.

Goal 9 of the agenda sets an ambitious target to “significantly increase access to information and communications technology and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet in least developed countries by 2020.”

“In keeping with the IGF inclusiveness, this gathering in Joao Pessoa addressed both opportunities and challenges under the following sub-themes: Cybersecurity and Trust; Internet Economy; Inclusiveness and Diversity; Openness; Enhancing Multi-stakeholder Cooperation; Internet and Human Rights; Critical Internet Resources and Emerging Issues,” said UN Assistant Secretary-General Lenni Montiel in a press release.

According to the UN, the three-day Forum “became the Mecca center for vibrant discussions about internet governance in the context of sustainable development.” Annually convened by the Organization, the 2015 event reportedly succeeded in giving some 4,000 online participants, from 116 developed and developing countries, the opportunity to engage directly with 2,400 on-site attendees in debates that addressed the challenges, as well as opportunities for the future of the internet.

In addition, over 150 thematic workshops at the 10th IGF focused on a diverse range of topics spanning from zero rating and network neutrality to freedom of expression online, cybersecurity and internet economy. Many workshops also stressed the interrelation of human rights and fundamental freedom, both online and offline and how this related to the promotion of development.

Meanwhile, the Under-Secretary-General for the Environment, Energy, Science and Technology of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Brazil, Ambassador José Antônio Marcondes de Carvalho, said the Forum could develop and produce “tangible contributions” and, thus, have more substantial impact on the evolution of the Internet, especially in terms of public policy.

“This Forum gives an unambiguous message of the importance of the IGF and the legitimacy and relevance of its continuity,” he stated.


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