Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Planning team to meet on Internet Governance

All is now set for the team planning the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in preparation to the fourth session of IGF to be held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, on November 15-18, 2009, and being hosted by the Government of Egypt.

The two-day planning meeting scheduled to hold in EBU, Geneva on September 16 and 17, would serve as informal session to discuss operational matters, which is open to all stakeholders who must register online.

This meeting is likely going to be the final session for the planning team before the November international conference in Egypt.

Already, an invitation from the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) endorsed by the Under-Secretary-General, Mr. Sha Zukang, indicated that though participation is open to all interested stakeholders, “they must have been accredited for the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)” which elapsed in 2005.

Equally, he said, that other institutions and persons with proven expertise and experience in matters related to Internet governance may also apply to attend.

The overall theme of the meeting, he said, will be Internet Governance – Creating Opportunities for All.

This theme, he also said, reflected the basic purpose of the IGF to develop a common understanding of how to maximize the opportunities the Internet offers for all nations and peoples, and how to address the risks and challenges.

“… While also raising awareness of the development dimension of Internet governance,” he said.

A copy of the invitation obtained by ITRealms Online stated that a broad-based consultation process through the Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG), has generated some six-point proposed agenda for the meeting.

These, Mr. Zukang said, include the managing of critical internet resources; security, openness and privacy; access and diversity; Internet governance in light of WSIS principles; Emerging issues – impact of social networks; and Taking stock and the way forward – desirability of the continuation of the Forum.

He explained that the last aforementioned item, is in regard to the future of the IGF, which is beyond its five-year initial mandate.

“We would like to invite ideas and comments from all stakeholders and urge you to share your views with us at:,” he urged.

Meanwhile, the Worldwide Internet Usage has soared in the last decade with Africa and Oceania closing the rank with 51.8 million and 14 million users respectively as at December 2008.

The report released recently showed that the number of people with Internet access has been growing rapidly.

Stressing that at the end of 1997, only 1.7 per cent of the world’s population –70 million people– had access to the Internet.

“A decade later, that number has risen to an estimated 1,348,572,040 users. Asia has the highest number of internet users, with an estimated 568.7 million people, followed by the Americas, with 377.9 million. Europe is third with 335.9 million. Africa and Oceania close the rank with 51.8 million and 14 million users respectively,” part of the report showed.

On the top 10 Internet User countries, the United States topped with 220 million, followed by China 210 million, Japan 88.1 million, India 81 million, Brazil 53.1 million, United Kingdom 40.2 million, Germany 39.1 million, Republic of Korea 35.5 million, Italy 32 million, and France 31.5 million.

While on the top 10 Broadband-connected countries, the United States still came top with 73.2 million, yet followed by China 66.4 million, Japan 28.28 million, Germany 19.6 million, United Kingdom 15.6 million, France 15.5 million, Republic of Korea 14.7million, Italy 10.8 million, Canada 9 million, and Spain 8 million.

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