Opening Ceremony

Session: Ceremonial / High-level / Host country

6 Dec 2016 - 17:00 to 17:30



[Read more session reports and live updates from the 11th Internet Governance Forum]

The IGF2016 opening ceremony started with a mariachi show, in representation of Jalisco’s tradition and culture.

All speakers were presented by Mr Chengetai Masango, Programme and Technology Manager at United Nations Secretariat for the Internet Governance Forum.

The first speaker was Mr Lenni Montiel, Assistant Secretary-General, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) who shared a welcome message sent by Mr Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations. He also distinguished the city of Zapopan as a global technology hub and thanked Mexico’s government for hosting the event.

Following Mr Montiel, Mr Pablo Lemus Navarro, Mayor of Zapopan, mentioned the problems of inequality faced by his district, and referred to the challenge and opportunity of using technology to correct them. He highlighted the ‘Ciudad Creativa Digital’ initiative, born in the municipality of Guadalajara, and spoke about the government’s intentions to take it to the rest of the state.

Masango then gave the floor to Mr Miguel Ruiz Cabañas, Undersecretary for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights, Government of Mexico. He mentioned 4 points:

  • The ambitious goals set by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which he compared to the 1945 Charter of the United Nations.

  • The challenge of equalizing the access to Internet.

  • The fact that the Internet also involves risks and that cybersecurity has to be a priority in Internet governance discussions.

  • The importance of the renewal of the IGF mandate and the role it will play in achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

The next speaker was Mr Aristoteles Sandoval, Governor of Jalisco, who called attention to the correlation between Internet penetration and higher gross domestic products in certain countries. He added that nevertheless, there is a digital and social gap which cannot be ignored, and asserted that there is no place more democratic and ready for international collaboration than the Internet.

At the end of the ceremony, Montiel appointed Ms Alejandra Lagunes, Coordinator of the National Digital Strategy, Government of Mexico, as President of the 2016 IGF. Lagunes then addressed the audience to speak about the challenges of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the opportunity of using the Internet to achieve the goals set in it, and the importance of the multistakeholder model, which, she affirmed, is in the Internet’s DNA. She closed the ceremony with the formal inauguration of the event.

by Agustina Callegari, Internet Society Youth Observatory


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