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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon


Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on Internet Governance Forum

New York, 2 March 2006

The Secretary-General has decided to establish a small Secretariat in Geneva to assist in the convening of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF). The Secretary-General was asked by the World Summit on the Information Society, held in Tunis in November, to convene such a Forum for multi-stakeholder policy dialogue.

Mr. Nitin Desai, the Secretary-General's Special Adviser for the Summit, held open consultations on 16 and 17 February 2006 in Geneva aimed at reaching a common understanding on how the Forum should function. Those discussions produced a consensus that the IGF should have a strong development orientation. It was also felt that the Forum should be open and inclusive, and allow for the participation of all interested stakeholders with proven expertise and experience in Internet-related matters.

The Secretariat will be headed by Mr. Markus Kummer, who has been the Executive Coordinator of the Secretariat of the Working Group on Internet Governance, which was established by the Secretary-General at the request of the first phase of the Summit, in Geneva in 2003. The first meeting of the Forum is expected to take place later this year in Athens.

On a separate issue, the Secretary-General has also decided to ask

Mr. Desai to consult informally on how to start a process aimed at enhancing cooperation on international public policy issues related to the Internet. The Summit had requested the Secretary-General to start such a process.

Statements on 2 March 2006