Internet Governance Forum (IGF) 2016 information session

5 May 2016 11:00h

Event report

[Read more session reports and live updates from the WSIS Forum 2016.]

Moderator Mr Chengetai Masango (Internet Governance Forum (IGF) Programme and Technology Manager) gave a brief introduction to the IGF, a space where the development and regulation of the Internet is discussed between the stakeholders. He outlined the topics for discussion in the session: current status of the IGF,  progress review, and prospects for the future.

Mr Carlos Afonso (Brazilian Internet Steering Committee member council) was in charge of the logistics of the IGF 2015 in Joao Pessoa, Brazil. He pointed out some important details of the event, such as the large number of workshops and panel discussions. He also offered some numbers:

  • Participation: Civil Society 44%, Governments 22%, Private Sector 12%, Technical Communities 10%, Academia 8%, Intergovernmental Organisations 4%
  • Gender balance: 62% Male – 38% Female
  • Training more than 120 young people in the Youth@IGF programme

Ms Constance Bommealer (Senior Director, Global Internet Policy at ISOC) spoke about the characteristics of the IGF and the importance of the inclusion of more stakeholders. She mentioned that currently there are many consultation processes for stakeholders to participate in regarding the construction of dialogue agendas.

Ms Doreen Bogdan-Martin (ITU Chief Strategic Planning and Membership) said that we need to think about how the objectives of WSIS can address the SDGs. She also talked about the importance of giving more support to campaigns such as Connect the Next Billion. The time to do this is now, she said.

Ms Marion Barthelemy (Director of the Division for Public Administration and Development Management, Department of Economic and Social Affairs at the United Nations) said that it is important to join efforts to overcome the digital gap, to improve job opportunities, and to protect the environment to achieve the SDGs.

Finally, Mr Victor Lagunes (Chief Information Officer at Office of the President of Mexico) explained the challenges Mexico faces as the next IGF organiser. He gave an account of the logistical details and promised that the discussion of the agenda would be open and inclusive.

After the panel intervention, different questions and comments came from the audience, most of them about the impact and the evolution of the IGF in the coming years. Also, one participant with a disability called for joint efforts to make the Internet an accessible technology for people with disabilities.

by Carlos Guerrero