First Consultations on Establishment of Internet Governance Forum

By EDRi · January 18, 2006

Following the agenda of the WSIS (World Summit on the Information Society)
in Tunis in November 2005, the stakeholders will attend a meeting in Geneva,
on 16 and 17 February for consultations regarding the convening of an IGF
( Internet Governance Forum) for multi-stakeholder policy dialogue. The
meeting in Geneva is meant to deal with the scope and priorities of the
Forum, its programme and character. The Forum will be hosted by the
Government of Greece sometime in 2006, probably in Autumn.

The Forum was proposed by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to solve the
mostly argued and controversial subject of Internet governance occurred in
Tunis WSIS. ( see EDRI-Gram 3.23)

Although the Forum has no binding or decision-making power many expect it to
bear a large influence and to result in solutions and best practices to
various issues such as security and availability of the internet.

The forum will be most probably controversial as some governments,
particularly the US government, expressed the intention to maintain the
present situation in Internet governance.

The leader of the US delegation at WSIS in Tunis, David Gross, ambassador of
the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs at the U.S. Department of State
had stated in an earlier interview that the Internet should continue to be
led by the private sector in the bottom-up system.

On the other hand, some governments, and especially the International
Telecommunications Union (ITU), hope for IGF to result in getting some power
back from ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) and
the US Government.

The meeting in Geneva in February will have the task to prepare an event
that will most definitely be an significant one.

The Internet Government Forum (IGF) website

UN to hold consultations on new Net governance body – (12.01.2006),10801,107663,00.html

Internet Governance Forum takes shape (12.01.2006)

UN prepares to set up net group (13.01.2006)

Consultations in view of the Forum on Internet Governance of next February
in Geneva (in French,13.01.2006)