The government of Switzerland will, from December 18 to 21, 2017, host the twelfth Internet Governance Forum (IGF) at the United Nation Office in Geneva under the overarching theme: Shape Your Digital Future!
Convened by the Secretary-General of the United Nations as a multi-stakeholder platform in order to discuss issues relating to Internet Governance in a more open and inclusive manner, the IGF is also meant to strengthen linkages among all stakeholders, including Governments and intergovernmental organizations.
Announcing the dates of the IGF, WU Hongbo, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations, on behalf of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, said the forum is to take place in the heart of international Geneva, a base for the United Nations, international organizations and permanent missions. He added that the setting will create an opportunity both for strengthening engagement between the IGF’s multi-stakeholder participants and the international community.
The programme of the four-day meeting is built in an inclusive manner by the IGF Multi-stakeholder Advisory Group with consideration to the input received from the wider global community. Some significant issues on Internet Governance which are on the agenda for discussion at the 2017 edition of the IGF includes: 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; among others.
The outcome of these discussions will be used as valuable input toward the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which relies on robust and strategic use of ICTs and sound Internet policies.
The rapid growth of national and regional IGFs strengthens the global IGF, as it enhances learning more about local perspectives on Internet Governance and in order to develop comprehensive policy discussions.
WU Hongbo further stated that throughout the year, the IGF supports community inter-sessional groups and facilitates their development of tangible outputs. He called on all stakeholders to join and contribute to the substantive work done under the IGF Best Practice Forums. The IGF Best Practice Forums are dedicated this year to Cybersecurity, Gender and Access and Local content as well as the third phase of the initiative on ‘Policy Options for Connecting and Enabling the Next billion(s)’ and many Dynamic Coalitions. Many countries and regions will be attending the Forum and bringing inputs from their communities.