Distinguished Members of Parliaments from around the world,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am honoured to be with you at this Parliamentary Roundtable – a special highlight of this year’s Internet Governance Forum.
I extend my gratitude to the Inter-Parliamentary Union for co-hosting this session with United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.
I also thank the Government of Germany, for organizing the first-ever Parliamentary Session in Berlin last year. The Session sent a strong message for national parliaments to cooperate and exchange best practices, in Internet-related public policy issues.
This year, we are grappling with the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. And it has laid bare our increasing reliance on the Internet, in so many ways.
It is critical that the United Nations and the global community work together to ensure meaningful access for all people to the Internet. This can be achieved with effective public policies and enhanced Internet governance.
Indeed, this resonates with the theme of this Roundtable -- “Building Trust in a time of COVID-19 response and Post-COVID-19 Recovery”.
Clearly, national parliaments and parliamentary institutions play a critical role. Not only do they contribute to regulatory frameworks for the effective use of the Internet as a global public good. They also act as leaders and advocates for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
In addition to legislative, budgetary and oversight functions in their jurisdictions, national parliaments also have representative roles. They define how people and organisations interact in an inclusive and trusted manner – especially in this fast-expanding digital space.
In the Secretary-General’s roadmap for digital cooperation, he called for more actionable outcomes through high-level sessions at the Internet Governance Forum – with specific reference to this parliamentary track.
I urge you to respond to his call. And I wish you an engaging, fruitful session.