I had an opportunity to capture this.....big thanx to Ginger.....if anyone got an opportunity to capture the speech by ITU and ICANN...I would appreciate it if they shared it...
Taking stock at IGF 2009;
Ms. Y.J. PARK, Delft University of Technology.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for giving me an opportunity of contributing to the Internet Governance Forum in a capacity of academia. As many previous speakers addressed, IGF has done a
tremendous job of implementing multi-stakeholder principles under the leadership of ICANN and ISOC community as one of the U.N. WSIS mandates. ICANN like private sector led multi[-stakeholder rule with decision-making process. IGF became an international knowledge transfer conference on Internet role. Indeed, IGF is a great place to transfer
knowledge and policy from ICANN community to developing world. Most actors from developing world, including governments, in the IGF process became a sole recipient of the knowledge transfer and lessons. As a cofound of WSIS civil society Internet governance caucus in 2003, I would like to remind you another mandate of this forum.
As Mr. Gross, former ambassador of U.S. government, recalled this morning, many of us were heavily engaged with the negotiation of who controls the Internet during the U.N. WSIS process. Internet Governance Forum was created as a compromise between those who supported the status quo Internet governance institution under one nation's status provision, and those who requested for more balanced roles for governments under international supervision of the Internet.
While IGF has achieved a great success of diluting of such political tension between those who have different views of how to institutionalize Internet governance, ironically Internet governance forum became a forum without governance. The Internet Governance Forum has been a good exercise to identify global public policy issues on
the Internet. However, we also have to admit IGF failed to deliver another mandate of the U.N. WSIS: Continuing
discussion of how to design Internet governance institutions. As one of the main members, it has been always challenging to put institutional aspects of Internet governance discussion on the agenda of the Internet governance forum. In turn, this practice :-) invited accusations of IGF as a useless forum without another mandate of the U.N. WSIS. As of today, some stakeholders are content by IGF's networking function in a form of knowledge
transfer conference and ask for a continuation. Others think IGF is dysfunctional because IGF does not discuss another critical mandate of the U.N. WSIS like how to design Internet governance institution and ask for discontinuation. We have another IGF coming soon in Lithuania. If 2010 IGF can deliver U.N. WSIS mandates in a
balanced manner, both knowledge transfer and negotiation of how to design Internet governance institution, those who have different expectations on IGF as of today may be able to build a consensus. Otherwise, I would like to propose IGF community should have different forum for different U.N. WSIS mandates. The current IGF continues to
function as knowledge transfer of ICANN's values to other stakeholders, while those who want to discuss and negotiate on how to design Internet governance institutions should have another platform for that specific U.N. WSIS mandate. Thank you for paying your attention to my proposal.
Ms. Sue Baxter, Head of the E.U. and international competitiveness
unit, Department for business, innovation.
The question hanging over this conference has been should it be continued next year, but the question should be why think about stopping a process that has proved to be popular and gaining momentum For the last few days here, one cannot help but be enormously struck by the large number of people from so many walks of life and from all over the world to network, to share ideas, and to solve common problems. The sheer enthusiasm of everyone here is surely testimony to the value of such a forum. And if people didn't find it useful, they simply wouldn't come. And they have come this year in record numbers. The reason the IGF is growing in momentum is due to its informality, it's non decision-making format, and its open and inclusive participatory structure. No time is wasted in agreeing text, and the debate is on substantive issues. The evidence speaks for itself. How many conferences offer an opportunity for teenagers to debate with senior statesmen and
women issues which affect the lives of millions? How many conferences spawn regional and national models based on the same organising principles? The answer is not ones which have run their course. And that's because we believe the challenges which are debated at the IGF are the challenges which either already face us or will soon face us in each of our countries.
And as long as those challenges persist, there will be room for an IGF. So it really should come as no surprise to you that the U.K. fully supports continuing the IGF mandate, and it fully supports continuing with an independent Secretariat, but funded perhaps by a wider range of stakeholders. Of course there is room for improvement. The IGF could be more inclusive, in particular to developing countries and less developed kupts. The agenda of the conferences could be more streamlined around core themes and more focused on emerging applications and we could have sharper and more accessible summaries of proceedings captured the diversity and range of views expressed, but not, I stress, conclusions or recommendations. However, we have made a great start, and I am sure that together we can make good progress. The significance of this conference has resonated throughout the world. It has promoted the principle that the Internet is the future and the Internet is for everyone, and those are principles which the U.K. supports. Thank you.
Ms. Kovacs, Civil Society, INDIA
A very hopeful evolution during this IGF was the central attention devoted to the question of where we stand in terms of promoting a people-centered, development-oriented Information Society more generally. The message that came out of the main session on Internet governance in the light of the
WSIS principles clearly confirmed the urgent need to pay greater attention to this important issue.
several suggestions were made to address this concern. This included devoting a main session simply to the topic of Internet governance for next year, and I sincerely hope that these suggestions will be taken up. While we do have many reasons to celebrate, important challenges, of course, remain. Throughout the existence of the IGF, and perhaps increasingly so, the value of the multistakeholder model has been valued and stressed by all the stakeholder groups. However, it has been acknowledged that we need to work to strengthen from developing countries and groups. It is worn in this context that we do not restrict our efforts in this regard to capacity building, significant as that may be. Perhaps even more crucial is that the agenda of the IGF consistently talks to the concerns of actors in the developing parts of the world as well.
The reconfirmation of the development of the agenda is a very important step forward indeed. But at the same time in the development of this agenda it is crucial that we as soon as possible start to discuss some of the specific issues that require our attention on an urgent basis. For example, within the IGF as elsewhere, it is generally acknowledged that access to knowledge is central to development processes. Yet the IGF so far has not paid systematic attention to the ways in which the amazing possibilities that the Internet offers in this regard are increasingly threatened by new policies that seem to make intellectual property regimes more stringent day by day.
From a developing country perspective, finding a balanced solution that can address these concerns is an urgent priority. And starting the debate on how this can be achieved here in the IGF is certain to attract a large number of developing countries participants, including governments. Going by the experience of the past years as well as this
particular meeting, I have no doubt that if given the opportunity, we will measure up to the challenges before us.
Without wanting to preclude the Under-Secretary-General's report, the proceedings during this IGF have made clear again its crucial significance in Internet governance processes. I hope with all my heart that we will continue to get the
opportunity to work together on addressing these important issues and on resolving tensions and contradictions as they emerge, with the support of an independent Secretariat that can ensure an environment generally inclusive of all stakeholders.Only when such open, inclusive conditions govern our own processes may we, in turn, together, be able to create a genuinely inclusive Information Society that will, indeed, create opportunities for all.