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Internet Governance Forum (IGF)

Overview

The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) brings together many stakeholder groups to discuss the public policy issues regarding the Internet. Even though IGF meetings do not produce negotiated outcomes, the discussions from IGF do provide public and private sector policy makers valuable insight and information about important issues. The IGF provides equal opportunity for developing and developed countries to engage in debate on Internet governance. The IGF believes that involvement by all stakeholders is necessary for the advancement of the Internet. that involvement by all stakeholders is necessary for the advancement of the Internet.

The Ninth Annual IGF Meeting will be held in Istanbul, Turkey from 2 - 5 September 2014.

How Does ARIN Participate?

Participant as a Regional Internet Registry (RIR) and through the Number Resource Organization (NRO).

Who Can Join And How?

Participation is open to all. Interested parties can submit proposals for workshops to be held during the IGF.  Once the Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) has announced the theme for the next IGF, there is a public call for workshops where anyone with interest and expertise in the area can propose a workshop topic and gather speakers to form a program.  The proposed workshops are then submitted to the MAG for review and acceptance.  These workshops then become the basis for all of the activities at the upcoming IGF.

Contributing to the IGF

The Internet Governance Forum is funded through donations from the various stakeholder groups. The host countries bear the majority of the costs of holding the annual IGF meeting in their country. While the IGF  Secretariat's activities are funded through extra-budgetary contributions paid into a multi-donor Trust Fund administered by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA). All contributions are administered and accounted for in accordance with the United Nations Financial Regulations and Rules and other applicable directives, procedures and practices. The project expenditure is contained in the biennial Financial Report and audited Financial Statements of the United Nations. Contributions from all stakeholders are welcome.  Various stakeholders also make inkind donations.

More information can be found on the IGF website.

ARIN's Role at the IGF

ARIN's IGF participation is always in conjunction with its other RIR colleagues under the banner of the NRO. The goals of the IGF and the NRO are closely aligned, and as the IGF has grown, the contributions of the NRO have increased to include financial support, developing plans and materials for workshops and panels and the creation of numerous reports to help IGF participants learn more about Internet number resource distribution and the role of the RIRs.  

ARIN has participated in the IGF through the NRO since the first IGF meeting in Athens in 2006.  ARIN continues to support the development of workshops and materials to help educate IGF participants about issues related to Internet number resources and other important issues that relate to the mission of the registry system.  Full reports on NRO participation at the various IGF events are available on the NRO website.

IGF Background

The first IGF was held in 2006 as established by the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). WSIS had agreed to pursue dialogue and decision-making on Internet Governance in two phases. The first phase of the Summit requested the United Nations Secretary-General to establish a Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG) to present the results of its work in a report for consideration for the second phase of the WSIS in Tunis 2005.

The Final Report was released in June 2005, prior to the second phase of the WSIS. Other documents from the first phase of WSIS included the Geneva Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action. During the second phase of WSIS, participants agreed that the UN Secretary-General would convene the IGF to discuss global Internet policy issues. Documents from the second phase included the Tunis Commitment and Tunis Agenda for the Information Society.

Location

A small Secretariat is set up in Geneva to support the IGF.

United Nations
Secretariat of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF)
Dependance La Pelouse
Palais des Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 10
Switzerland

Mission

The IGF facilitates a common understanding on how to maximize Internet opportunities and address risks and challenges that arise.

The IGF's UN mandate gives it convening power and authority to serve as a neutral space for all actors on an equal footing. As a space for dialogue, it can identify issues to be addressed by the international community and shape decisions that will be made in other forums.

The Secretary-General of the UN established the MAG. Its purpose is to assist the Secretary General in convening the Internet Governance Forums and setting the program themes. The MAG comprises 56 Members from governments, private sector, and civil societies, including representatives from academic and technical communities. While members are selected from various communities, they do not represent a specific organization, and instead serve in a personal capacity.  The RIR community has had representation on the MAG since its formation.  The MAG holds meetings three times a year at the Palais des Nations in Geneva and is preceded by open consultations meetings.

Membership

The Internet Governance Forum is an open forum, financed through voluntary contributions. The NRO has contributed in recent years.

Structure and Organization

The IGF has an annual meeting held in various locations around the globe. This annual meeting is where delegates discuss, exchange information and share good practices with each other.