Invitation to the Fourteenth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF)
On behalf of the United Nations Secretary-General Mr. António Guterres, I have the honour to invite you to the fourteenth meeting of the United Nations Internet Governance Forum (IGF), to be held in Berlin, Germany, from 26 to 29 November 2019.
The fourteenth IGF will be hosted by the Government of Germany under the overarching theme: ‘’One World. One Net. One Vision.’’. The Forum aims at bringing together more than 2,000 participants from different stakeholder groups and some of the most prominent individuals in the global Internet governance discussion.
Following extensive, broad-based, and multi-stakeholder discussion on the thematic direction for IGF activities in 2019, the IGF Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) has identified three priority themes for a focused and cohesive programme for this year. These are, (1) Data Governance; (2) Digital Inclusion; and (3) Security, Safety, Stability & Resilience. The detailed programme of the 14th IGF, including its main sessions and workshops, as well as related information, is available at the IGF website. In addition, the programme will be enriched by the community-led Best Practice Forums on Big Data, Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence; Cybersecurity; Gender and Access; and Local Content, as well as by the work of 18 multistakeholder Dynamic Coalitions and 116 national and regional IGF initiatives.
The Forum will focus on how digital frontier technologies bring benefits to our economies and societies. Their transformative impact is critical to the future sustainability of our world and to the achievements of the sustainable development goals (SDGs). However, with these great benefits come a growing number of concerns and challenges. Increasingly we are faced with cyber-attacks, data and privacy breaches, and proliferation of hate speech and censorship. These and other emerging challenges threaten to undermine the beneficial impact of the Internet.
This calls on all of us to cooperate and to work together in ensuring a safe cyber environment for the benefit of all – both the current and future generations. We must invest efforts in engaging the ‘weak and missing voices’ and ‘creating a shared language and reference’ as the Secretary-General advised during the meeting at the thirteenth IGF in Paris last November. And we must leave no one behind in accessing the benefits of the Internet and the digital age.
I sincerely hope that we will have the pleasure and honour of your participation and contribution at the Berlin IGF. Whether you represent a government, a United Nations entity or an international organization; whether you are from the business sector, the scientific and technological community, or the civil society, you will have an opportunity to speak and engage at the IGF. Your voice counts.
Mr. LIU Zhenmin
Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs