Business and Technical Communities Support Renewal of Internet Governance Forum Mandate

New York, N.Y., July 13, 2010 –  As its mandate comes up for review, the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), a multi-stakeholder body created by the United Nations for discussion of Internet policy issues, received a strong vote of confidence from the business and technical communities today.  At a joint event for UN delegates, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the Internet Society (ISOC) urged UN member states to continue the mandate of the IGF with its founding principles intact as a unique space for exchange on important Internet governance policy matters.

“Global business strongly supports continuation of the IGF, viewing it as an extremely valuable forum where everyone with an interest in the Internet can come together to discuss its future development,” stated Art Reilly, senior director of strategic technology policy with Cisco Systems, speaking on behalf of ICC and its BASIS (Business Action to Support the Information Society) initiative.  “We further support the continuity of the IGF’s multi-stakeholder structures, its Geneva-based secretariat and its voluntary funding.”

The Internet Society echoed these sentiments: “ISOC and its membership believe that the IGF is one of the most effective and successful outcomes from the UN’s World Summit on Information Society (WSIS),” commented Lynn St. Amour, ISOC’s president and CEO. “The IGF inspires people to work effectively in support of multi-stakeholder and people-centered development of the Internet – a key goal of the WSIS. It promotes and supports work in communities, in countries, in all regions and at the global level. The IGF provides an opportunity for governments, business, civil society and the Internet community to share experiences and best practices that can inform decision making in their home communities to address the issues of economic and social growth and development that are essential to achieving the Millennium Development Goals.”

The IGF can directly impact how companies do business around the world, according to Peter M. Robinson, president and CEO of ICC’s American affiliate, the United States Council for International Business (USCIB).  “In order for business to prosper and contribute to the achievement of major societal goals, we need the cooperative, multi-stakeholder approach that has been the IGF’s hallmark,” he said.

Since the conclusion of the Tunis UN World Summit on Information Society in 2005, ICC and ISOC have been actively involved in support of implementing the targets, recommendations and commitments of the WSIS as they pertain to the Internet, and to Internet governance, as well as in capacity building and support of Internet standards organizations. The diverse and global communities of these two organizations continue to deploy efforts in a wide range of areas, working to enhance their cooperation and their contribution to the development of Internet-related public policy solutions around the world.

UN member state representatives today attended a briefing session in New York, hosted by the ICC and the Internet Society, where the benefits of the IGF were presented from the perspectives of businesses and Internet technologists. The session underlined the importance of “enhanced cooperation” in matters of Internet governance.

About the Internet Governance Forum

The UN World Summit on Information Society (Tunis 2005 preceded by Geneva 2003) created the Internet Governance Forum, a multi-stakeholder forum for the discussion of “public policy issues related to key elements of Internet governance in order to foster the sustainability, robustness, security, stability and development of the Internet.”

At Tunis, UN member states also recognized “the need for enhanced cooperation in the future, to enable governments, on an equal footing, to carry out their roles and responsibilities, in international public policy issues pertaining to the Internet, but not in the day-to-day technical and operational matters, that do not impact on international public policy issues.”

The IGF encourages open dialogue among all relevant stakeholders at the national, regional, and international levels.  This open debate is essential to the process of developing people-centric public policy related to the Internet and to the ongoing effective management of Internet resources. For more information about the workshop organized by ISOC and ICC, see http://www.isoc.org/isoc/conferences/wsis/IGF.shtml

About the Internet Society

The Internet Society (ISOC) is a non-profit organization founded in 1992 to provide leadership in Internet related standards, education, and policy. ISOC is the organizational home of the Internet Engineering Task Force, the Internet’s premier technical standards body. With offices in Washington, D.C., and Geneva, Switzerland, it is dedicated to ensuring the open development, evolution, and use of the Internet for the benefit of people throughout the world. For more information see http://InternetSociety.org.

About the International Chamber of Commerce

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) is the voice of world business, championing the global economy as a force for economic growth, job creation and prosperity. ICC activities cover a broad spectrum, from arbitration and dispute resolution to making the case for open trade and the market economy system, business self-regulation, fighting corruption and combating commercial crime.  More at www.iccwbo.org.  The United States Council for International Business (USCIB), based in New York, serves as ICC’s American affiliate.  More at www.uscib.org.

Media Contacts

Jonathan Huneke, USCIB
+1 212.703.5043 or jhuneke@uscib.org

Alba Rooney, ICC
+ 33 1 49.53.28.22 or alba.rooney@iccwbo.org

Anya Chambers, Internet Society
+1 224.321.0378 or chambers@isoc.org

 

Staff Contact:   Jonathan Huneke

VP, Communications and Public Affairs
Tel: 212.703.5043

Jonathan Huneke is responsible for USCIB’s strategic communications, including media relations, publications, online content and high-level public events. He also manages the work of USCIB’s Marketing and Advertising Committee.
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