About the Expert Group Meeting (EGM)
The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) was established in 2006 following the World Summit on the Information Society and has evolved through sixteen annual iterations and developed activities, including intersessional work and national and regional initiatives (NRIs).
Recent years have seen advancements in the discussions around Internet governance and digital cooperation approaches, highlighted in the United Nations Secretary-General’s Roadmap on Digital Cooperation (2020), and the recently released United Nations Secretary-General’s report on the Our Common Agenda. These documents make reference to the IGF, as well as to other potential activities and initiatives dedicated to advancing digital cooperation, such as the proposal for a Digital Compact highlighted in Our Common Agenda. These discussions have evolved within, and interacted with, a broader context of challenges and opportunities including the rapid development of new digital technologies, progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals, and the global crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In this context, a two to three-day expert-level working retreat is proposed by the United Nations Secretariat for 30 March - 1 April 2022 in New York to consider how the IGF can contribute to advancing digital cooperation and implementing proposed initiatives in this area, within the broader context of the ongoing process on strengthening and improving the IGF as a space for global multistakeholder discussion on Internet policy issues.
The expected outcomes of the retreat include (but are not limited to):
A. Recommendations on how the IGF can “adapt, innovate and reform” its work and contribute to implementing proposed initiatives dedicated to advancing digital cooperation and creating an ‘open, free and secure digital future for all’. These recommendations – which should take into account the availability of resources – could cover:
- What improvements can be made to the format and work of the Forum in order to strengthen focus, relevance and improve links with decision-making fora, and develop effective and influential outputs?
- How to improve the alignment of IGF activities with the action lines included in the Roadmap for Digital Cooperation (para 93a)?
- What role could the IGF play in ensuring multistakeholder engagement and providing inputs in developing the Digital Compact proposed in Our Common Agenda report?
- How the IGF should work with various decision-making and discussion fora in the expanding field of digital development.
B. Recommendations on how to operationalise recurring proposals regarding IGF strengthening and improvement, in areas such as:
- Implementing the IGF Leadership Panel
- Growing the engagement of those stakeholders who are currently unengaged, with a view to expanding and diversifying participation in the IGF processes;
- Ensuring sustained and regular funding to support the IGF and the IGF Secretariat.
In view of space limitations and social distancing requirements, the total number of participants is estimated at thirty-two .
Participants will be drawn from:
- Relevant stakeholder groups such as governments, private sector, civil society and technical community.
- Relevant international intergovernmental organizations.
- Past, current and future IGF host country representatives.
- Past and current chairs of the Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG).
Selection of participants
The final list of participants in the proposed retreat will be composed of individuals designated through community processes as well as appointed by the UN Secretariat, largely based upon nominations received from the multistakeholder community (further explained below). The final participants list will be constructed to assure balanced participation and broad diversity across a number of considerations (region, stakeholder groups, gender, etc.) and to include expertise on the impact of the Internet on SDGs and wider public policy.
To ensure that regional perspectives will be reflected in the discussions, the community of national, regional and youth IGF initiatives will be invited to submit the names of six  participants. The selection process will be carried out through the NRIs coordination meetings.
Civil society, private sector, technical community (11)
Civil society, the private sector and the technical community will be invited to submit nominations, based on which the UN Secretariat will select three  participants for each of these stakeholder groups.
Two  additional (at large) participants will be selected through this process based on their expertise and/or contribution to the IGF process.
Individual nominations are also welcome from anyone interested.
Government process (5)
Governments are invited to submit names for consideration through official communication to the IGF Secretariat. The selection of five  governmental representatives will be done in a way to reflect regional diversity.
Former and future IGF host countries (5)
Five  from former or future IGF host countries – reflecting regional diversity – will be invited. Interested former and future host countries should also express their interest through official communication to the IGF Secretariat.
MAG chairs (5)
The past and current MAG chairs will be invited to participate.
International Intergovernmental Organizations
Relevant international intergovernmental organizations (treaty-based) interested in participating are invited to contact the IGF Secretariat expressing their interest. These will be encouraged to attend in order to facilitate discussion of the actual and potential impact of the Internet and Internet governance on the SDGs and other areas of public policy.
The meeting will be held under the Chatham House rule.
Limited funding is available to facilitate travel of participants from developing countries.
- Tunis Agenda for the Information Society
- United Nations Trust Fund Project Document Internet Governance Forum (Phase III)
- Report of the CSTD Working Group on Improvements to the Internet Governance Forum (2012)
- United Nations Secretary-General’s Roadmap on Digital Cooperation (2020)
- United Nations Secretary-General’s Our Common Agenda (2021)
- IGF Retreat Proceedings (2016)
- About National, Regional and Youth IGF initiatives (NRIs)
- About Dynamic Coalitions (DCs)
- IGF 2022 Programme Development