The Role of Governments in Internet Governance

The Internet was built on basic libertarian and democratic axioms; it was developed and deployed outside the sphere of government influence, with the academic and technical communities playing the leading role. Their distributed, informal, and bottom-up decision-making processes challenge the traditional world of governments, which is based on the principle of national sovereignty, as enshrined in the UN Charter. One of the key questions for the future of Internet governance is the role of governments.

Following on the NETmundial conference in Brazil and anticipating major governance events later in the year - including the 2014 Internet Governance Forum and ITU Plenipotentiary - this briefing for Geneva-based Missions will provide an opportunity to discuss the future of Internet governance and the role of governments in Internet governance arrangements.

The event is organised in co-operation with the Internet Society.


  • Thursday 12 June 2014, 13:15-14:30. Light refreshments will be served at 12:30.


  • DiploFoundation, World Meteorological Organization Building (2nd floor)
    7bis, Avenue de la Paix, Geneva 1211, Switzerland


  • Welcome remarks, Constance Bommelaer, ISOC
  • The role of governments: lessons learned and the way forward (chaired by Constance Bommelaer, ISOC)
    • Markus Kummer, the Internet Society: History of the debate - from WSIS to the post-2015 agenda
    • Dr Jovan Kurbalija, Diplo Foundation/GIP: NETmundial between blue sky (innovative participation) and red lines (limitations in negotiations)
    • Dawit Bekele, ISOC: Successes and challenges of the multistakeholder model in Africa
    • Eliot Lear, IETF: The intersection of standards and policy: two examples from the IETF
    • Petko Kantchev, Ministry of Transport and Information and Communication Technology, Bulgaria: How countries create multistakeholder delegations for international meetings
    • Q&A with floor participants
  • Conclusion, Michael Kende, ISOC

Photos from the event are available here. New

Event summary available here. New