Unlocking Multistakeholder Cooperation within the UN System: Global Partnerships for Open Internet

29 May 2024 15:00h - 15:45h

Two-thirds of the world’s population uses the Internet, but 2.7 billion people remain offline. In most developing countries, mobile broadband (2G and 3G) is the main and only way to connect to the Internet. Secure and sustainable infrastructure is pending in many low-income countries, from spectrum management, conformity, and interoperability to trusted providers. To overcome these challenges, the design, development, and implementation of policy initiatives with a stronger focus on Internet governance, infrastructure, access, usage, or affordability need to rely on a set of principles agreed upon at the highest multilateral level of decision-making in the UN and shared across all stakeholder groups. 

The UN bodies and institutions have been at the forefront of various initiatives and policy processes on ICTs and data, fostering political dialogues and multistakeholder engagements such as the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development, the Partnership on Measuring ICT for Development, and the SDG Digital Accelerator Agenda. Translating these political endeavors into concrete action requires engaging and cooperating among various stakeholder groups across regions, countries, and sectors. 

This roundtable discussion aims to facilitate a policy conversation and offer recommendations on integrating Open Internet principles, as outlined, among others in the Declaration for the Future of the Internet, into ongoing processes such as WSIS+20, the Global Digital Compact, and other UN-related multistakeholder initiatives. It also seeks to explore how to expand the scope, approach, and instruments dedicated to realizing these principles within the UN system through multistakeholder partnerships.