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IGF 2014 Chair's Summary - draft

IGF 2014

Chair’s Summary 

[Draft, 13:30 UTC+3, 5 September 2014]


Connecting Continents for Enhanced Multistakeholder Internet Governance


    2-5 September 2014, Istanbul, Turkey 


The Road to IGF 2014

2014 has been an important year for the future of international Internet and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) policy, with a large number of high-level meetings and significant developments emerging throughout the year. With the WSIS Tunis Agenda having given the IGF the mandate to discuss emerging Internet governance issues, IGF 2014 has been able to play a role in facilitating timely policy debates at a key moment in the Internet governance landscape.


Key Facts:


·       The preparatory work of the IGF 2014 was guided by the recommendations of the Commission for Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) Working Group on Improvements to the Internet Governance Forum that were recognized by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2013.

·       The IGF Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) held two open consultations and nine online meetings. Minutes of the all MAG meetings are available online.

·       The community submitted 208 workshop proposals, which were examined and rated according to criteria developed and published by the MAG.


Innovations in programming to this year’s IGF include:


·       A call for inputs from the community from the MAG Chair was made to collect inputs on actions taken by stakeholders as a result of participation at the IGF  

·       Five best practice forums

·       Chair’s report to suggest intersessional work modalities


Program highlights include:


·       Net Neutrality main session - organized in response to the invitation by NETmundial

·       A debate on the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) transition stewardship - organized to gather inputs from a wide range of Internet governance community members on the process for replacing the current stewardship arrangement


All interested stakeholders are encouraged to visit the IGF website for full transcripts of all the main sessions and workshops that took place throughout the week at the 9th IGF. The IGF YouTube channel also contains videos of all the sessions.


•  http://www.intgovforum.org  •  http://www.youtube.com/user/igf  • 

•  https://twitter.com/intgovforum  •   

•  https://www.facebook.com/IntGovForum  

From Dialogue to Action

Participants discussed and proposed possible ways forward on a number of topics discussed over the four day IGF 2014:


The Internet Governance Forum Beyond 2014

A multistakeholder group of participants drafted a statement to send to the United Nations (UN) to request a renewal of the IGF mandate and a longer cycle for each mandate given to the IGF. Discussion on the draft will continue online at http://igfcontinuation.org.


National and Regional IGFs

Some participants, including a number of representatives of the national and regional IGF initiatives, suggested that there should be increased cross-fertilization between the growing network of national and regional IGFs and the global IGF.


IGF 2014 Best Practice Forums

The best practice forums drew together the knowledge, wisdom, and expertise of stakeholders to provide useful insights to the whole Internet community on:


·       Developing Meaningful Multistakeholder Mechanisms

·       Regulation and Mitigation of Unwanted Communications (Spam)

·       Establishing and Supporting CERTs for Internet Security

·       Creating an Enabling Environment for the Development of Local Content

·       Online Child Safety and Protection


All stakeholders are encouraged to contribute and comment on the draft best practice documents at http://review.intgovforum.org/igf2014. The deadline is 15 September 2014.


Network Neutrality

Recommendations were made on how the debate on network neutrality can be taken forward. As this year’s session was aimed at fostering a common understanding of the issues, it was indicated that next year’s IGF is expected to feature a more developed discussion.


The concept of zero-rating was heavily discussed, with some speakers in favour of the practice, while others criticized its usage, and opinions were highly divergent between developing and developed country perspectives. While opinion lay mostly divided on the optimal network neutrality framework for enhancing the economic implications of the Internet, there were indeed shared values on the importance of enhancing users’ experience.


Human Rights

Organizers from a selection of the almost fifty workshops at IGF 2014 that focused–directly or indirectly–on human rights issues met for a roundtable and endorsed a message document to be brought to the Human Rights Council panel on Privacy in the Digital Age on 12 September 2014.

Roundtable participants also recognised a maturity of discussions on human rights at the IGF and recommended that a new best practice forum on the protection of privacy in the digital age begin work in the lead-up to IGF 2015 in Brazil, making use of regional and national IGFs to ensure the inclusion of developing country participants.


Policies Enabling Access, Growth and Development on the Internet

To facilitate the connection of the next five billion global citizens, a strong call was made for an increased emphasis and inclusion of ICTs and Internet access in the post-2015 development agenda of the UN as a catalyst for economic growth.


Enhancing Digital Trust

Many participants emphasized that there is a need for increased interaction between government entities and all other interested stakeholders in ongoing and future deliberations on enhancing trust in cyberspace.


A Message From Youth

Youth representatives emphasized the need to strengthen existing mechanisms that empower youth in attending and engaging in the Internet governance ecosystem.

Announcements, Launches and Other Highlights of IGF 2014

A number of stakeholders from the community made important announcements to the community and launched initiatives that will be taken forward into the broader Internet governance ecosystem. Below is a selection of the many announcements, launches and other highlights of the week.




•  Pre-conference  •  


High Level Leaders Meeting

The host country convened a high level meeting on the topic of capacity building for economic development. Twenty-one high level leaders, including government ministers, spoke on this important topic.


NETmundial: Looking Back, Learning Lessons and Mapping the Road Ahead

During this day-long follow-up event to the NETmundial in Sao Paulo, an interactive session worked to create a roadmap for institutional improvements to the global Internet governance ecosystem. This event also launched a book, titled Beyond NETmundial: The Roadmap for Institutional Improvements to the Global Internet Governance Ecosystem.


Internet Governance Forum Support Association

The Internet Society formally launched the Internet Governance Forum Support Association (IGFSA). The main objective of the association is to achieve a stable and sustainable funding mechanism to contribute to the United Nations IGF Trust Fund and support related activities. More information is available at http://www.igfsa.org.



•  DAY One  •  


Enhancing ICANN Accountability and Governance Town Hall Meeting

This meeting provided an opportunity for an open dialogue to address and clarify any concerns regarding to enhancing ICANN’s accountability and governance process.


WSIS+10 High-Level Event Information Session

This session on the World Summit on the Information Society High-level Event provided an opportunity for the IGF community to learn more about the outcomes of the event and its implications for the broader ecosystem.



•   DAY Two  •  


CSTD ten-year review of WSIS

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), which performs the CSTD secretariat function, is currently facilitating the CSTD’s ten-year review of the progress made in the implementation of the WSIS outcomes, as mandated by the Economic and Social Council. UNCTAD encouraged IGF participants to contribute to through an online questionnaire at http://unctad.org/en/Pages/CSTD/WSIS-10yearReview.aspx. The deadline for contributions is 15 September 2014.


•   DAY Three  •


UNESCO’s Comprehensive Study on the Internet

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, a long-standing IGF supporter, asked stakeholders in Istanbul to contribute to its Internet study which covers issues related to access to information and knowledge, freedom of expression, privacy, and ethical dimensions of the information society. UNESCO encouraged all IGF participants to contribute to the study, which is open for comments until 30 November 2014. The study is available at http://www.unesco.org/new/en/communication-and-information/crosscutting-priorities/unesco-internet-study.


African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms

The declaration, which is a Pan-African initiative to promote human rights standards and openness principles in Internet-policy making on the continent, was launched at the 2014 IGF. The declaration is available at http://africaninternetrights.org.  



•   DAY Four  •  


ITU and UNICEF Guidelines for Industry on Child Online Protection

The International Telecommunications Union and the United Nations Children’s Fund released the updated version of the Guidelines for Industry on Child Online Protection. The Guidelines provide advice on how the ICT industry can work to help ensure children’s safety when using the Internet or any of the associated technologies or devices that can connect to it. The guidelines are available at http://www.itu.int/en/cop/Pages/guidelines.aspx.





Key IGF 2014 statistics


•  2,405 onsite participants  •  1163 remote participants  •


Onsite Participation by Region



Onsite Participation by Stakeholder Group





Civil Society


Asia Pacific





Eastern Europe

Host Country




Intergovernmental Organizations


Latin America and the Caribbean



Private Sector


Western Europe and Others



Technical Community














The full Chair’s Summary of the meeting will be available on the IGF website in the near future.               

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