Dates set for Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Athens
Tuesday, 14 March 2006
The dates of the first meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) have been set by the Greek government from 30 October 2006 to 2 November 2006. The first meeting of the IGF will be held in Athens. Logistical information for the conference will soon be posted on the the host country website.
During the open consultations on convening the IGF held in Geneva from 16-17 February 2006, Mr. Nitin Desai, the UN Secretary-General's Special Advisor asked to participants to reflect upon two questions:
Whether there is a need for a multistakeholder group to prepare for the meeting.
Which public policy issues the first meeting of the IGF should address.
Although the deadlines for submissions to the IGF Secretariat on the "need for a multistakeholder group to assist the the Secretary-General in convening the IGF, what the mandate of this group should be and how it should be formed" expired on 28 February 2006, close watchers of this process have indicated that the Secretariat may be still amenable to suggestions. After all, two governments have made submissions on this topic on 3 March 2006 beyond the official deadline. The contact email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
The deadline for groups to submit their top three public policy issues to be discussed in Athens is 31 March 2006. The submission should give a short explanation detailing the reasoning behind the selection.
The following link shows a short synthesis of the top ten most frequently mentioned discussion issues compiled from the dicussions and submissions. It should be noted that development and capacity building were cited as over-arching goals of this process. According to the IGF Secretariat, the ten most cited topics so far include: (1) Spam, (2) Multilingualism, (3) Cybercrime, (4) Cybersecurity (5) Privacy and Data Protection, (6) Freedom of Expression and Human Rights, (7) International Interconnection Costs, (8) Bridging the Digital Divide: Access and Policies, (9) Bridging the Digital Divide: Financing, (10) Rules for e-commerce, e-business and consumer protection.
The following website shows the submissions made by governments, civil society and business groups during the Geneva consultations as well as more recent comments on the "need for a multistakeholder group to assist the Secretary-General in convening the IGF, what the mandate of this group should be and how it should be formed".
Considering the open process of the IGF thus far, civil society groups should avail themselves of the opportunity to participate in the IGF and make submissions to the IGF Secretariat by 31 March 2006 on their "top 3 list" of public policy issues the first session of the IGF in Athens should discuss.