In recent years, the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) has sought to strengthen the participation of parliamentarians in discussions on some of the most pressing issues related to the use, evolution and governance of the Internet and related digital technologies. In 2019 and 2020, a parliamentary roundtable was held in the context of the IGF annual meeting. In 2021, an extended parliamentary track was introduced, which included (a) a series of online activities for parliamentarians in the lead-up to the IGF 2021 meeting, and (b) a total of four dedicated parliamentary sessions at IGF 2021.
Building on the past years’ experience, the IGF plans to further strengthen its parliamentary track, in particular through expanding the set of intersessional activities dedicated to fostering inter-parliamentary dialogue and cooperation on key digital policy issues. With the IGF 2022 meeting scheduled to be held in Ethiopia, focus will be placed on engagement with parliaments and parliamentarians in the African continent.
Activities planned to be undertaken in 2022:
- A digital policy symposium for parliamentarians across Africa, in July 2022 | Read more about the event and its outcomes
- Parliamentary activities at IGF 2022
- Supporting NRIs in their efforts to engage with parliaments and host parliamentary tracks at their meetings
- Developing a toolkit for parliamentarians on key Internet and digital policy issues.
Output documents of previous IGF parliamentary tracks:
- Output document from the parliamentary track, 16th IGF | December 2021, Katowice
- Output document from the parliamentary roundtable, 15th IGF | November 2020, online
- Message from the meeting of parliamentarians participating in the 14th IGF, Jimmy Schulz Call | November 2019, Berlin
IGF 2022 parliamentary track | Addressing cyberthreats: National, regional and international approaches
From 28 November to 2 December 2022, the Government of Ethiopia will host the United Nations 17th Internet Governance Forum (IGF 2022) under the overarching theme Resilient Internet for a Shared Sustainable and Common Future. Participants from around the world are expected to take part in this event in Addis Ababa and online.
In 2022, the IGF parliamentary track started with a digital policy symposium held in the context of the Africa IGF, on the theme The role of parliamentarians in shaping our common digital future: An African perspective. Building on this, the track will continue at the 17th IGF in Addis Ababa with a series of parliamentary activities to be held on 30 November – 1 December on the theme Addressing cyberthreats: national, regional and international approaches. In the spirit of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly Resolution A/RES/74/304, these activities will be jointly organised by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the House of Peoples’ Representatives of Ethiopia.
As the Internet and digital technologies increasingly shape our economies and societies, they also create vulnerabilities for individuals, public and private entities, critical infrastructures, and much more. The cyber threat landscape is a complex one, including issues as diverse as denial of service attacks, malware and ransomware, cyberattacks on supply chains and providers of essential services, and the weaponisation of digital technologies.
How ready are countries to deal with these and other cyber threats? What policy, regulatory and legislative measures are or need to be put in place to increase the level of cybersecurity and address cybercrime? Are national authorities empowered to implement such frameworks? And how to leverage multistakeholder, multisector and multi-level cooperation to create a more secure cyberspace? These and similar questions will be discussed at the IGF 2022 parliamentary track, offering parliamentarians an opportunity to exchange good practices, discuss challenges and solutions, and engage with other stakeholders in a dialogue aimed to help inform efficient and effective policy making and implementation.
- Update members of parliaments (MPs) on the continuously changing landscape of cyberthreats and their implications for individuals, the society and the economy.
- Foster dialogue and exchanges of experiences among MPs on national approaches to protecting cybersecurity and addressing cybercrime.
- Discuss the role of MPs and legislation in shaping a safer and more secure digital space.
- Explore challenges – and potential solutions – related to the implementation and enforcement of legislative frameworks related to cybersecurity and cybercrime.
- Expose MPs to UN-level processes focused on cybersecurity and cybercrime: the Open-ended Working Group on security of and in the use of information and communications technologies (OEWG) and the Ad Hoc Committee to elaborate a comprehensive international convention on countering the use of information and communications technologies for criminal purposes (Ad Hoc Committee).
- Engage in a dialogue with other actors (business sector, technical community, civil society) on multistakeholder approaches to addressing cyberthreats.
Parliamentarians from around the world are invited to discuss the proposed issues with experts, share their views, explore the questions at hand, and exchange opinions and experience on (existing or potential) legislative solutions. The main messages that emerge from these exchanges (with potential guidelines, suggestions and recommendations for parliaments) will be captured as the formal output of the IGF 2022 parliamentary track.
Plan of activities
The programme below is indicative at this stage and will be shaped further in the lead-up to IGF 2022.
Parliamentary events at IGF 2022 | 30 November – 1 December (Addis Ababa & online)
30 November, 13:20 – 14:50 UTC+3
30 November 15:05 – 16:35, UTC+3
|1 December, 09:30 – 11:00 UTC+3||
|1 December, 13:45 – 15:00 UTC+3||