Nairobi to Host 6th Internet Governance Forum
Geneva/Nairobi-- Over 1500 delegates from over 100 countries -- representing governments, the private sector, civil society, the Internet community, international organizations and the media -- will convene in Nairobi, Kenya to examine cross-border Internet governance challenges at the sixth meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), to be held from 27 to 30 September 2011.
This year’s annual meeting, to take place at the United Nations Office in Nairobi (UNON), will have as its main theme: “The Internet as a catalyst for change: access, development, freedoms and innovation.”
Internet governance for development (IG4D) is high on the agenda of the IGF 2011 meeting. Delegates will look at examples of global Internet governance issues that may have particular relevance to development, and how Internet governance can be integrated into development approaches, at the national and international levels. Such debates will focus on issues such as the diffusion and use of IPv6 (Critical Internet resources) and how innovative policies for Access and Diversity can ensure the potential of the Internet becomes a reality for all.
Other workshops will looks at the issues of Security, Openness and Privacy – a uniquely IGF perspective which links these core policy concerns. Some of the workshops will debate issues such as filtering; the impacts of actions taken to cut access to the Internet for individuals, groups or entire countries. This session will build upon last year's discussion on protecting freedom of expression and innovation. The Forum will also examine the role of traditional and new media, and professional and citizen journalists, in the Internet 3.0 world.
Dialogue that informs policy
The 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 will be no negotiated outcome, the IGF informs and inspires those with policy-making power in both the public and private sectors.
“The IGF provides for an open and inclusive dialogue and an opportunity to create new dynamics between participating institutions,” said Thomas Stelzer, the United Nations Assistant Secretary-General presiding over the session. “Through information exchange, best practices are shared, risks and challenges are addressed and a common understanding of how to maximize Internet opportunities is bolstered – which is valuable for all players involved.”
The IGF 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 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.
Five previous meetings of the Forum have been held, in Athens, Greece in 2006; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2007; Hyderabad, India in 2008; Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt in 2009; and Vilnius, Lithuania in 2010.
Source: The United Nations