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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

1,200 participants storm Vilnius for ‘10-IGF

THE four-day global 2010 Internet Governance Forum (IGF-10) kicked off on Monday with the theme, ‘Developing the Future Together’ in Vilnius, Lithuania, just as over 1,200 participants registered for the forum from 115 countries.

Internet Governance Forum is a multi-stakeholder meeting for policy dialogue on issues of Internet governance, which was formally established and announced by the United Nations Secretary-General in July 2006 and it was first convened in November 2006 in Athens in fulfillment of the 2005 World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) outcome held in Tunisia.

A press statement from the United Nations media team and made available to ITRealms Online, weekend, indicated that aside the 1,200 registered participants taking part in the global meeting of Internet community, many more are taking active part in the Forum’s discussions and workshops via remote participation.

Representatives of governments, international organizations, the Internet community, private sector, civil society, and the media convened from 14 to 17 September 2010 in Vilnius, Lithuania, for the fifth meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF).

The on-going meeting, ITRealms Online gathered is being chaired by Lithuanian Minister of Transport and Communications, Mr. Eligijus Masiulis.

The meeting was opened by Assistant Secretary-General at the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Mr. Jomo Kwame Sundaram, and Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitë with a keynote address.

Among the ministers and high-ranking officials from Governments and international organizations, parliamentarians and representatives from the private sector, civil society and the academic and technical communities are Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda as well as Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn, the two co-inventors of the Internet Protocol TCP/IP.

Equally, UN officials said that the main theme for this year’s meeting is exploring how the Internet could benefit people worldwide and how Internet governance could be a means to achieving development for all as expressed in internationally agreed targets like the Millennium Development Goals (MDG).

“The theme reflects the open and inclusive nature of the IGF with its multilateral, multi-stakeholder, democratic and transparent approach to discussions on Internet-related public policy issues.

ITRealms Online learnt that other sessions during the Vilnius meeting would examine issues relating to the management of critical Internet resources such as the domain name system, Internet protocol addresses, and the maintenance of Internet services in disaster or crisis situations.

Even as the interconnected topics of security, openness and privacy would be discussed at the forum along with issues of access and diversity. This is in addition for participants reflecting on Internet governance for development (IG4D), in a session exploring the possible effects of global Internet governance arrangements on the development of the Internet and people-centred information societies in developing countries.

The Vilnius meeting, , official said, would discuss the emerging issue of cloud computing, examining what is meant by the term and what are the Internet governance considerations arising from it.

“Cloud computing services already exist and are likely to have even greater impact in future. The Internet could become a commodity like electricity with everything from e-mail services and social networking to data storage and software offered from the cloud,” part of the press statement read among others.

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