" ITREALMS: Evaluating IGF tops agenda @ taking stock session

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Evaluating IGF tops agenda @ taking stock session

As door closed yesterday in Geneva on the Open Consultations for Taking Stock of the Hyderabad session of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) held last December in India, assessment of how IGF faired since 2007, took the centre stage at the two-day evaluation meeting.

ITRealms Online recalled that Hyderabad meeting was the third in the series since the two-phased World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) which took place in Geneva in 2003 and Tunisia in 2005. While there were IGF sessions in Athens in 2006 and Rio de Jeniro, Brazil.

Created as a follow-up for multistakeholders avenue for continuous deliberation on development and growth of the Internet in the Tunisia leg of WSIS, IG forum tends to improve the ability to foster dialogue on Internet governance.

Consultations, which was opened to all stakeholders globally commenced on Monday, February 23 and lasted till yesterday and is expected to come up with some strategies to transend beyond the Lithuania session in 2010, even as speculations are rift such sessions may come to an end.

As an intense session, stakeholders described the meeting as drifting towards the collective unconscious as the evaluation of the IGF topped agenda. Even as some others wondered if there is any value in continuing the IGF experience?Commenting on the revised synthesis paper on IGF in preparation by the IGF Secretariat, on the Open Consultations, made available to ITRealms Online, the United Nations (UN) SecretaryGeneral, Mr. Ban Kimoon, said that the forum is modest in its means, but not in its aspirations.

“Its hallmark is multistakeholder collaboration, based on the exchange of information and the sharing of best practices,” he said, stressing that this new form of international cooperation is both inclusive and egalitarian.

“And it presents governments, the private sector and civil society, including academic and technical communities, with the opportunity to work together towards a sustainable, robust, secure and stable Internet, as envisioned by the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society,” he said.

Equally on the agenda was the suggestions on how to improve IGF sessions, especially at the 2009 Meeting to be held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, and IGF review process.

The outcome of the additional questionnaire specifically administered to some key stakeholders after theHyderabad was released, which asked questions bordering on the processes of the IGF and the way forward in responding to the Tunis Agenda call for the SecretaryGeneral in tandem “to examine the desirability of the continuation of the forum, in consultation with forum participants, within five years of its creation, and to make recommendations to the UN membership in the regard.”

Also, it was learnt that IGF secretariat received three written responses from two organizations, two from dynamic coalitions and 26 questionnaire responses.

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