IGF 2017 – Closing ceremony

21 Dec 2017 16:00h

During the closing ceremony of the twelfth IGF, representatives of all stakeholders groups expressed their appreciation to the organisers for hosting the event and expressed support for IGFs yet to come. According to UNDESA, more than 2000 participants, remotely and in person, attended this meeting, making it a success.

Mr Chengetai MasangoIGF Secretariat, invited the representatives to give closing remarks.  Representing civil society, Mr Matthew Rantanen, Director of Technology for the Southern California Tribal Chairmen's Association (SCTCA), reminded that the global indigenous communities are a part of the next billion to be connected and deserve a role in governing new technologies. “To enhance the global community is to be inclusive of those that surround you and have some barriers to access”, Rantanen said. He also praised the establishment of the Global Indigenous Ambassador Program and the new ISOC special interest group.

The youth representative, Ms Jianne SorianoNetMission.Asia ambassador, applauded the increased presence and diversity of youth in IGF. She stressed the importance of preserving continuity that would allow for better capacity building and more cooperation. Also, youth initiative is important, but impossible without support from different stakeholders.

Speaking from the business perspective and as a content creator, Mr Sundeep Singh Bobby Bedi, International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF), underlined that the Internet should remain global and free. He spoke of the global value chain in which interests of both content consumers and creators need to be recognised. 'Uncertainties in the social and political world might slow down investment', Singh warned, that are necessary for preserving the Internet truly global. He commended the multistakeholder approach of the IGF and asked the governments to ensure fertile national environments for innovation and investment.

The technical community called for more action in preserving the core values of the Internet as a platform for good. Ms Raquel Gatto, manager for Chapter Development in The Americas for Internet Society, quoting Mr Vint Cerf, noted that the 'problems seen on the Internet, are the ones coming from our society'. Gatto emphasised that the invited for action and has demonstrated its value as a neutral forum for stakeholders to gather on equal footing.

Ms Lynn St. AmourChair of the MAG, remarked that IGF is not binding, but does provide outcomes for actors to take back to national and local levels. The discussions lead to communality norms that could become policy, as did the norm to protect the public core of the Internet. 'The potential of the IGF is huge, but not fully used' added Mr Thomas Schneider, Vice-Director of the Federal Office of Communications of Switzerland. He emphasised the need for more investment and better communication. Schneider also sent a message to the future hosts of IGF saying that it is hard work, but a unique and rewarding experience.

Giving final remarks on behalf of the UN Secretary General, Mr Armin Plum, Senior Sustainable Development Officer, DSD/UNDESA, closed the forum by thanking the community for its work in expanding the multistakeholder dialogue, bridging the digital divide and contributions to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

By Jana Mišić