The 12th annual meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) will take place at the United Nations Office in Geneva, Switzerland, between December 18 and 21, 2017, with the overarching theme: “Shape your digital future!”.
The Forum will look at some of the most pertinent issues in Internet Governance, including matters related to Connectivity and Access; Impact of the Internet on Sustainable Development and Economic Growth; Human Rights Online; Gender Issues; Cybersecurity; Multi-stakeholder Collaboration at National, Regional and Global Levels; Emerging Technologies; and many others.
The outcome of the discussions will serve as additional input towards the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which relies on robust and strategic use of ICTs and sound Internet policies.
Although, there is no negotiated outcome from the annual Internet Governance Forum, it informs and inspires those with policy-making powers in both the public and private sectors.
Delegates hold discussions, exchange information and share good practices with each other in view of the Forum’s aim of discussing Internet Governance issues in a bottom-up, open and inclusive manner.
The IGF is a global multi-stakeholder forum that promotes discussions and dialogue about public policy issues related to the Internet.
With this year’s Forum taking place in the heart of international Geneva, a base for the United Nations, international organizations and permanent missions, the setting is expected to create an opportunity both for strengthening engagement between the IGF’s multi-stakeholder participants and the international community.
The IGF was first convened in 2006 by the UN Secretary-General and the4 renewal of its mandate by the UN General Assembly in December 2015 consolidated its position as a platform for bringing together members of various stakeholder groups as equals.
The IGF facilitates a common understanding as to how Internet opportunities can be maximized and addresses risks and challenges that arise.
It is a forum which gives developing countries the same opportunity as wealthier nations to engage in the debate on Internet governance and facilitates their participation in existing institutions and arrangements.
The underlying philosophy is that ultimately, the involvement of all stakeholders, from developed as well as developing countries, is necessary for the future development of the Internet.