An update on forthcoming Internet Governance events from the Internet Society’s Senior Director of Global Internet Policy Constance Bommelaer.
May has traditionally been a busy month for Internet governance discussions in Geneva. This year is no different, but the stakes are higher for those who care about the Internet and its future.
2015 is the year where we celebrate the 10 years of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). For the past 10 years, governments, the private sector, civil society, academia and the Internet technical community have worked together at the local and the global levels to make the Internet a useful tool for development. We now have more than 3 billion people online, with growth mostly in developing countries. We have more work to do to reach the vision of an “Internet for Everyone”; but much has been achieved and we should celebrate success.
May will be populated with a series of WSIS-related meetings taking place in Geneva. Here is some background information to help you navigate and engage in these discussions :
- CSTD (4-8 May): This is the last phase of the WSIS review process before the UN General Assembly process begins in June. A report on ” Implementing WSIS outcomes: A ten-year review ” will be discussed, and a Resolution on WSIS will be negotiated, which will provide important guidance for the events to happen in New York in December. Raul Echeberria, VP Global Engagement (ISOC), has been invited to deliver a high-level statement at this occasion.
- IGF MAG and Open Consultations (20-22 May): The Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) will continue preparations for the 2015 Internet Governance Forum, to be held 10-13 November 2015 in Brazil. Much efforts are spent on intersessional work and ongoing progress with Best Practice Forums, a format that focuses on sharing lessons learned from dealing with tangible issues such as spam. A new track on developing ” Policy menus for Connecting the Next Billion” has also been launched. We will be sending a separate note on how to concretely engage in this work next week.
- ITU Council 2015 (12-22 May): ITU Council meetings are open to all ITU Member States as well as ITU sector members and are available as webcasts to Member States and sector members. It is expected that the Council will discuss the role of the ITU in the WSIS process.
- ITU WSIS Forum (25-29 May): WSIS Forums provide an annual avenue to take stock of progress on WSIS Action Lines. The Internet Society is organizing a set of sessions (collaborative security, local content) and will have high-level representatives delivering policy statements. The theme of this year’s forum is ” Innovating Together: Enabling ICTs for Sustainable Development “. More to follow as we get closer to the event.
The original WSIS process took place soon after international agreement on the creation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Similarly, this year’s final WSIS+10 review takes place shortly after the follow-up to the MDGs, the so called Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to be adopted in New York, 25 – 27 September 2015. It is already quite apparent that the SDG process is going to influence the direction of the WSIS beyond 2015 towards the contribution of ICTs for development.
As you can see, 2015 is a busy year for Internet Governance and the Internet Society will continue to be on the front and facilitate the participation of the Internet community. For an outlook and key global and local IG tracks this year, visit our Internet governance timeline : http://www.internetsociety.org/igtimeline
Additional information will be circulated w.r. to each of these events. In the meantime, if you plan to participate or have any questions, please let us know!
Senior Director, Global Internet Policy
The Internet Society