Internet governance for development

Governments, business and civil society will examine IG4D at the seventh annual meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), to be held on 6-9 November in Baku, Azerbaijan

Over 1,500 delegates from over 100 countries, representing Governments, the private sector, civil society, the Internet community, international organizations and the media are expected to convene to examine cross-border Internet governance challenges. DESA’s Under-Secretary-General Wu Hongbo, will open the Forum. 

This year’s meeting will have as its main theme: ‘Internet Governance for Sustainable Human, Economic and Social Development.’ Internet governance for development (IG4D) is high on the agenda of the IGF 2012 meeting. Delegates will look at examples of global Internet governance issues with particular relevance to development, and how Internet governance can be integrated into development approaches, at the national and international levels.

Debates will focus on issues such as diffusion and use of IPv6 (critical Internet resources) and how innovative policies for access and diversity can ensure the potential of the Internet to become a reality for all. Other workshops will look at the issues of Security, Openness and Privacy – a uniquely IGF perspective which links these core policy concerns.  

An important focus of the IGF this year will be on capacity building in the field of Internet governance. Participants will also discuss the possibility for the IGF to include well structured and coordinated capacity building events meant to attract and inform new stakeholders, especially from developing countries.

Dialogue that informs policy
The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is not a decision-making body, but rather a space for dialogue where all participants are equal in discussions on public policy issues relating to the Internet. While there is no negotiated outcome, the IGF informs and inspires those with policy-making power in both the public and private sectors. DESA manages the IGF Secretariat, located in Geneva. 

The Internet Governance Forum is an outcome of the Tunis phase of the World Summit on the Information Society, which took place in 2005. In the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society, Governments asked the United Nations Secretary-General to convene a new forum for policy dialogue to discuss issues related to key elements of Internet governance in order to foster the Internet’s sustainability, robustness, security, stability and development. The IGF’s initial mandate was for five years, this was renewed for a further five years by United Nations General Assembly in 2010. 

The IGF is also a space that gives developing countries the same opportunity as wealthier nations to engage in the debate on Internet governance and to facilitate their participation in existing institutions and arrangements. Ultimately, according to the Tunis Agenda, the involvement of all stakeholders, from developed as well as developing countries, is necessary for the future advancement of the Internet. 

Six previous meetings of the Forum have been held, in Athens, Greece (2006); Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2007); Hyderabad, India (2008); Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt (2009); Vilnius, Lithuania (2010) and Nairobi, Kenya (2011).

For more information:
Internet Governance Forum (IGF)