Appointment of IGF Leadership Panel

Building on the Roadmap for Digital Cooperation, the UN Secretary-General appoints an inaugural Internet Governance Forum (IGF) Leadership Panel as ‘a strategic, empowered, and multistakeholder body to support and strengthen the IGF’. The Panel’s key functions are to: provide strategic inputs and advice on the IGF; promote the IGF and its outputs; support both high-level and at-large stakeholder engagement in the IGF and IGF fundraising efforts; and exchange IGF outputs from the Forum with other stakeholders and relevant fora and facilitate the feeding of input of these decision-makers and fora to the IGF’s agenda-setting process.

Our Common Agenda and the road to a Global Digital Compact

The UN Secretary-General issues the Our Common Agenda report, outlining his vision on the future of global cooperation. Among other elements, the Secretary-General envisions the adoption of a Global Digital Compact (GDC) to ‘outline shared principles for an open, free and secure digital future for all’. The GDC is to be agreed up during a Summit of the Future, planned for September 2024.

Establishment of the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Technology

The Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Technology is established following the Secretary-General’s appointment of his inaugural Envoy on Technology. Responsibilities of the Office include: leading the implementation of the Roadmap for Digital Cooperation; facilitating dialogue on the recommendations of the Roadmap and related parts of the Our Common Agenda report; and serving as an advocate and focal point for digital cooperation.
Starting July 2022, the position of Envoy on Technology has been held by Mr. Amandeep Singh Gill.

Launch of the Roadmap for Digital Cooperation

The UN Secretary-General presents the Roadmap for Digital Cooperation, building upon the recommendations outlined in the report of the High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation. The Roadmap indicates the main signposts ahead of us and proposes practical policy actions around the following key areas: connectivity, digital public goods, digital inclusion, digital capacity building, digital human rights, digital trust and security, critical infrastructure, and global digital cooperation.

High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation established by the UN Secretary-General

The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres establishes a High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation to enhance cooperation between relevant stakeholders working in the digital field, including governments, the private sector, the technical community, academia, and civil society. The panel’s objectives also include addressing the opportunities and challenges of digital technologies, and engaging in discussions on how to secure an inclusive and humanistic digital future for all. The final outcome of the panel’s work, the report The Age of Digital Interdependence, was launched in June 2019. The report outlines five key recommendations related to advancing an inclusive digital economy and society; developing human and institutional capacity; promoting human rights and human agency; advancing trust, security, and stability; and strengthening global digital cooperation. On the matter of digital cooperation, the Panel recommends that the UN Secretary-General facilitates an agile and open consultation process to develop updated mechanisms for global digital cooperation, using as a starting point three architecture models outlined in the report: an IGF Plus, a Distributed Co-Governance Architecture, and a Digital Commons framework.

WSIS+10 High-level meeting

The WSIS outcome documents and the UN General Assembly Resolution 60/252 resolved to conduct an overall review of the implementation of the Summit outcomes in 2015. The WSIS+10 review process culminated with an intergovernmental high-level meeting at the United Nations in New York on 15–16 December 2015, which, among other issues, decided to renew the mandate of the Internet Governance Forum with a further 10 years. Other elements tackled in the outcome document of the meeting include: (a) bridging digital divides; (b) human rights in the information society; (c) building confidence and security in the use of ICTs; (d) internet governance; and (e) enhanced cooperation. The document further calls on the General Assembly to hold a high-level meeting on the overall review of the implementation of the WSIS outcomes in 2025.

World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT-12)

The World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) is convened in Dubai by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to review the International Telecommunication Regulations (ITRs) for the first time since 1988. Concerns are raised on the impact of new reglulations on the future of the internet and internet governance. At the end of the two-week conference, negotiations end in a stalemate: Participants fail to reach consensus and states are bound by two sets of ITRs – the 2012 ones, signed by 89 countries vs the 1988 ones, valid for the rest of ITU member states.

CSTD Working Group on Improvements to the IGF presents its report

The Working Group on Improvements to the IGF – created at the request of the Economic and Social Council and the General Assembly – issues a report outlining a serie of recommendations for strengthening the IGF. The recommendations are related to shaping The group was established by the Chair of the Commission of Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) and had a multistakeholder composition.

First renewal of the IGF mandate

In its December 2010 Resolution A/RES/65/141, the UN General Assembly decided to extend the mandate of the IGF for a further five years. The resolution also noted ‘the need to improve the Forum, with a view to linking it to the broader dialogue on global internet governance’.