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2013 Internet Governance Forum

 

Closing Remarks

Anne-Rachel Inné
COO, AFRINIC 

Mr. Chairman, Ladies and gentlemen

 

In Montevideo, earlier this month, leaders of our organisations responsible for the management and coordination of the Internet technical infrastructure met to discuss among other things the future of Internet governance and identified the need for ongoing effort to address ongoing challenges. To this end, we agreed to catalyse community-wide efforts towards the evolution of global multi-stakeholder Internet cooperation. 

What better place than the IGF to start these efforts! This meeting here in Bali allowed us to reach out to the stakeholders to explore how to move forward. Once again, if need there was, the IGF has proved its usefulness as a platform for multistakeholder dialogue. In our view, there is no better way to discuss important and delicate issues. It is a truism, but no stakeholder group can do it alone. Policy makers need the input from the technical community – the legal and regulatory framework needs to evolve based on a solid understanding of the underlying technology. Policy makers also need to understand what is economically viable and policy makers as well as technologists need to understand what is socially acceptable. The business community and civil society need certainty that their objectives can be met and their own important concerns can be addressed; that we have a safe and progressive path forward.  Not everything that is feasible is desirable! For this reason the dialogue between all stakeholder groups is essential for a healthy Internet ecosystem.

 

As signatories of the Montevideo Statement we have followed with interest the discussions after its publication, including the discussions during this week's IGF.  We appreciate the generally positive reception that the statement received, and the opportunity to open inclusive discussions since then, regarding the way forward. We intend to continue these discussions beyond the meeting, in a fully open manner, with the aim to improve the mechanisms for multistakeholder Internet cooperation.  We encourage wide participation by all parties – governments, civil society, business and technical community – on an equal footing, in the spirit of the IGF.

We hope that all interested parties will be involved, as there is much work to be done and many arenas to be involved in. While the proposed meeting in Brazil in May 2014 was not a subject of discussion in Montevideo, we welcome this one-off opportunity to advance the discussion on how best to address global Internet governance challenges.

We hope that it will be possible to maintain the open and collaborative spirit of Internet cooperation which we witnessed at the Bali IGF meeting – it is needed for the further evolution of Internet governance in all discussions going forward.

Our efforts to catalyse community-wide efforts are complementary to and build on the IGF. This week has convinced us that we need to strengthen the capacity of the IGF to prepare, run and follow-up to the annual meetings. The Secretariat is understaffed and underfunded. We are committed to put the IGF Secretariat on a stable and sustainable financial basis – and we call for matching commitments from business and from civil society, each according to their means.  This is for the future of the Internet and the benefits it can bring to all of us.

We also call on the UN to help us in our efforts and to strengthen the Secretariat. The UN can help us to reach out to potential donors. Furthermore, the position of Special Advisor to the Secretary-General has been vacant for nearly three years – it is urgent to fill this vacancy. We ask the UN staff present here to convey this message to the Secretary-General.

It was an excellent meeting!  On a particularly technical note, you may not have noticed that IPv6 services were provided on the IGF network, but it was used by a great many of you for your connectivity this week.  In fact, Internet traffic averaged 30Mb/s IPv6 out of 150Mb/s total, during the week.  IPv6 represented over 20% of all IGF traffic, which we are very glad to see.

Let me conclude by thanking our hosts for their hospitality and efficiency in providing the infrastructure of this year's meeting. Their smiling faces contributed much to the success of the event. Let me also thank the UN and the IGF Secretariat for their hard work - Chengetai and his team deserve to be commended for organising such a rich and vibrant meeting on a shoestring.

Thank you for your attention!