U N I T E D N A T I O N S N A T I O N S U N I E S
MR. Wu hongbo
under-secretary general for economic and social affairs
Internet Governance Forum Open Consultations and Multistakeholder Advisory Group Meeting
Geneva, 4 April 2016
On the occasion of the first open consultations and Multi-stakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) Meeting of the 2016 Internet Governance Forum, I would like to extend on behalf of UN Secretary-General our warm welcome and greetings to the Chairperson and the membership of the MAG. I also want to thank the Government of Mexico for hosting the 2016 IGF.
Our thanks also go to all MAG members and multi-stakeholders for their past work that has had a profound effect on Internet governance today. I also thank Ambassador Janis Karklins for his leadership as the MAG Chair over the past two years.
Most of all, I would like to express my deep appreciation to all of you as stakeholders representing the wider global community. It is your presence that reminds us of the diverse perspectives on the Internet and the importance of facilitating an ongoing deliberation involving all stakeholders on complex issues affecting the Internet ecosystem.
The year 2015 marked a historic turning point for the United Nations and its Member States. In September 2015, world leaders adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, anchored in 17 universal, inter-connected and integrated Sustainable Development Goals and 169 Targets, many of which relating in one way or another to the Internet and information and communication technologies.
Last December, the General Assembly also endorsed the remarkable progress of the Internet and information and communication technologies at the overall review of the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS+10). As part of the outcome of WSIS+10, the General Assembly acknowledged the role of the IGF as a multi-stakeholder platform for discussion of Internet governance issues and decided to extend for another 10 years the existing mandate of the IGF as set out in paragraphs 72 to 78 of the Tunis Agenda. Member States further recognized that during that period, the Forum should continue to show progress on working modalities and the participation of relevant stakeholders from developing countries.
With us here today is the 2016 MAG Membership appointed by the Secretary-General to advise and assist him on the programme of the 2016 IGF in Mexico. Twenty-two (22) MAG Members are new, out of a total of 55 Members representing 46 countries from diverse stakeholder groups, a step toward broader representation of MAG membership compared to previous years.
Let me reiterate that the United Nations attaches great importance to the open and inclusive process of the IGF and the multi-stakeholder policy dialogue on Internet governance. Together with you, we strive to do more to ensure that the value of multi-stakeholder participation continues to be embraced and broadened to include those who are not yet privileged to participate in this important journey. Together with you and the broader stakeholders, we hope to continue improving the working modalities of the IGF and the participation of stakeholders from developing countries.
The 2016 MAG and the IGF community have important tasks ahead. Collectively, we need to work harder to bring about greater roles of the IGF and the Internet in driving and empowering sustainable development to ensure that no one is left behind. Let us fulfil this vision.
I wish you a productive and successful meeting ahead.