Welcome to the United Nations | Department of Economic and Social Affairs

The eight edition of the Internet Governance Forum started on Tuesday, October 22, in Bali, Indonesia. Representatives of governments, intergovernmental organisations, private sector, technical and academic community and civil society gathered together to discuss Internet governance related issues, under the general theme of “Building Bridges – Enhancing Multistakeholder Cooperation for Growth and Sustainable Development”.

The first plenary session of the day, “Building bridges – the Role of Governments in Multistakeholder Cooperation” focused on discussions driven by recent calls for increased involvement from governments on Internet issues in the context of the discussions about Internet surveillance, and to a proposal made by Brazil at the World Telecommunication Policy Forum (WTPF) in May 2013, known as the “Draft Opinion on the Role of Governments in Multistakeholder Cooperation.”

Participants in this session expressed support for the multistakeholder model, while also underlining the need to support accessible internet initiatives to make sure that truly everyone can be involved in the discussion on the future of the internet.

The afternoon was marked by the opening ceremony and opening session, which enjoyed the presence of Mr. Thomas Gass, Assistant Secretary General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs in UNDESA and H.E. Tifatul Sembiring, Minister of Communication and Information Technology of the Republic of Indonesia.

Mr. Thomas Gass addressed the audience, on behalf of Mr. Wu Hongbo, Under-Secretary General for Economic and Social Affairs, underlining the importance of the IGF as the “premier multistakeholder forum for policy dialogue related to Internet governance issues” and reaffirmed the support of the United Nations for the multistakeholder model for Internet governance that the IGF embodies. [Opening address].

H.E. Tifatul Sembiring emphasized that the purposes of the IGF are closely related to the acceleration of progress on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). “Indonesia will propose that we as one global community develop more concrete global cyber-ethics,” the Minister said. “These norms are to be common references for all stakeholders to conduct transactions and interactions in cyberspace,” he said, adding that cyber ethics are fundamental to demonstrating respect for the values of different countries, communities and cultures.

Day 1 of the Forum also saw various workshops run concurrently throughout the day.  They addressed issues such as: Internet rights and principles online, emerging cybersecurity threats , protection of children online, the role of the Internet in disaster management and environmental monitoring, open data and their role in enhancing a transparent and efficient governance, mobile and cloud computing, local content and multilingualism on the Internet.

From a statistical point of view, by the end of the first day, 2302 delegate badges were issued.

For more information, please refer to the Media coverage, 2013