Q1/2019 - Internet Governance Forum (IGF)
The first consultation round to prepare the 14th IGF to be held in November 2019 in Berlin was attended by 75 representatives from all stakeholder groups. More than 100 participants followed the three-day meeting in Geneva online.
The MAG rated the 13th IGF held in Paris in November 2018 as an overall positive event. It had yielded more concrete results than any other IGF, for instance the “Paris Messages” and the recommendations that emerged from the roughly 100 workshops and other sessions. With UN Secretary-General António Guterres and French President Emmanuel Macron attending, the IGF had gained additional political importance. To strengthen the IGF’s role as a central discussion platform for Internet governance issues, the Forum attendants proposed to develop a strategy to foster an enhanced networking with other organisations of the Internet governance ecosystem. The list included UN organisations like UNESCO, UNDP, ITU, the Science Technology and Innovation Forum (STIF), the Davos Economic Forum, the IETF, IEEE and others. Moreover, it was suggested to re-fill the position of a “special adviser to the UN Secretary-General on Internet issues”. This post had been held by the Indian diplomat Nitin Desai from 2003 to 2010. After his retirement it had not been filled again. The MAG further appreciated the so-called intersessional work of the IGF Dynamic Coalitions (DC), the IGF Best Practice Fora (BPFs) and the NRI platform (National and Regional IGFs). It was not satisfied, however, with the commitment governments and larger Internet enterprises displayed.
The MAG evaluated the “Call for Issues” for the upcoming IGF in Berlin. 350 proposals had been handed in. Top of the list were the categories cyber security, trust and protection of privacy (67 proposals), evolution of the Internet governance ecosystem (61 proposals), development of new technologies, including artificial intelligence (57 proposals) and digital inclusion and access to the Internet (45 proposals). The majority of the proposals was submitted by civil society (140 proposals). Governments had handed in no more than 19 proposals. Asia-Pacific accounted for the largest number of proposals , closely followed by Western Europe/North America (111 proposals). 40 proposals came from Africa.
In November 2018, the MAG adopted a RoadToIGF to prepare the 14th Internet Governance Forum in Berlin. Proposals for workshops, open fora, DC meetings and Day Zero events can be handed in up to 12 April 2019. The next MAG meeting will be combined with an “Open Consultation” and take place in Geneva on 9 to 11 April. A third MAG meeting is scheduled for June 2019 in Berlin, immediately after the “Internet & Jurisdiction” conference, which will be held on 3 to 4 June 2019 in Berlin.