Under the theme “IGF 2010 – developing the future together” the 5th meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) started today and will take place until 17 September in Vilnius, Lithuania, gathering representatives of government, the private sector, civil society, the academic and technical communities, international organizations and the media.
This year’s theme reflects the open and inclusive nature of the IGF with its multilateral, multi-stakeholder, democratic and transparent approach to discussions of Internet-related public policy issues.
Under-Secretary-General Mr. Sha Zukang said that “the experience of the IGF so far illustrates the complexity and multifaceted nature of public policy issues related to Internet governance… Perhaps the greatest strength of the IGF is that it encourages stakeholders with diverse opinions and experiences to discuss concerns and move towards a common understanding.”
The theme for the current meeting “IGF 2010: developing the future together”, marks a progression when viewed against the themes of the previous IGF meetings: “Internet governance for development” (2006 and 2007), “Internet for all” (2008) and “Internet Governance – Creating Opportunities for All” (2009).
Those earlier themes have been linked to the cross-cutting priorities of development and capacity-building. They are derived from the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and in one form or another have motivated all IGF discussions to date.
This years’ Vilnius meeting will help articulate a view of how we can use the Internet for the benefit of all humankind, and how we can further address the risks and challenges ahead. Internet governance should not be seen as an end in itself, but as a means of achieving development for all as expressed in the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals.
After a broad-based consultation with stakeholders, the programme for the meeting will focus on managing critical Internet resources; security, openness and privacy; access and diversity; Internet governance for development; taking stock of Internet governance and the way forward, and emerging issues: cloud computing.
The Internet Governance Forum organizes these annual conferences of stakeholders each year on a different continent to facilitate broad-based participation.
The first meeting was held in Athens in 2006, the second in Rio de Janeiro in 2007, the third in Hyderabad in 2008 and the fourth in Sharm El Sheikh in 2009.