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APC: Proposed Conference on Internet Governance Must Commit itself to Maintain Links with IGF Process

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The Association for Progressive Communications (APC) welcomed, in an open letter to the organizers of the International Conference on Global Internet Government announced by the Brazilian government for 2014, the initiative that should address the current challenges and issues related internet governance public policies.

In the open letter, APC notes that the proposed meeting in Brazil should offer opportunities to reinforce and strengthen efforts to improve and democratise the governance of the internet; Help restore trust in the internet governance ecosystem; and, Generate concrete and actionable outputs to address specific internet governance challenges which can then be further discussed at global and regional Internet Governance Forums (IGFs) and at WSIS+10 meetings in the course of 2014.

APC therefore suggests that the process of planning and organization of the proposed summit should include transparent, open, inclusive and participatory online mechanisms that will get the commitment of all stakeholders to take active participation. APC proposes instruments similar to those used in Brazil to draft the “Marco Civil” legislation where all submissions were made using an open, public and transparent platform.

The Association also notes that the meeting should be open to all interested stakeholders to ensure the diversity and expertise of selected participants. Another suggestion is that the groups responsible for capturing of outputs should be appointed prior to the event, involving representatives of all stakeholder groups and that all stakeholders should agree on a decision-making process that would ensure the achievement of the goals of the meeting.

APC also proposed that the meeting, in order to produce concrete outcomes, should focus its efforts on the issue of internationalization of ICANN and IANA, as well as on an international set of principles, or a civil framework, for internet policy making fully harmonized with existing human rights agreements.

“We want to urge the organisers to consider the importance of reinforcing the United Nations' Internet Governance Forum process (IGF). The IGF needs to be strengthened and improved. Most of these improvements have been identified in the report of the CSTD Working Group on IGF Improvements. Many of these improvements relate to increasing developing country participation”, states APC in the open letter signed by Anriette Esterhuysen, APC Executive Director.

APC concludes that the proposed 2014 conference in Brazil can contribute to strengthening the IGF and its relationship with other UN Processes only if it states and maintains commitment to link with the Internet Governance Forum from the outset.

“Failure to do this could risk fragmenting the still fragile but emerging process of consolidating an inclusive, participative and democratic internet governance ecosystem”, concludes APC.

The Brazilian government announced the initiative to hold a meeting on global internet governance on November 18, 2013, following the revelations about mass surveillance and data collection by the US National Security Agency which have brought the debate over the legitimacy of the role of governments and internet businesses in the internet governance ecosystem to a critical point. (Source: Association for Progressive Communications)

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