Media Advisory - Sharm El Sheikh Meeting


Growing impact of social networks to be reviewed under overall theme:  "Internet Governance – Creating Opportunities for All"


(United Nations, Geneva/New York, 27 October ) - Representatives of governments, international organizations, the Internet community, the private sector, civil society and the media will convene from 15 to 18 November 2009 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, for the fourth meeting of the Internet Governance Forum on the theme of "Creating opportunities for all".

Discussions in Sharm el-Sheikh will continue to examine how to improve Internet access by all and promote local content and cultural diversity; ensure the safety of the Internet and fight cybercrime; and manage key Internet resources such as the domain name system, Internet protocol addresses, the root server system, technical standards, interconnection and telecommunications.


The meeting will also look at the emerging issue of social networks, which have grown tremendously in influence and popularity over the last few years and have become critical to reaching wider audiences. They impact not only the daily life of young people, who were early users, but almost every field of activity, from entertainment to business and the political space. As social media have continued to evolve, governance issues have continued to emerge, in particular, the need for new approaches regarding privacy and data protection, rules applicable to user-generated content and copyrighted material, and issues of freedom of expression and illegal content.

Panel discussions, workshops and other meetings will be held on several related issues, such as, among many others, promoting freedom of information and freedom of expression of the media on the Internet; human rights and principles in Internet governance; legal issues related to social media; privacy and social networking; combating cybercrime; Internet governance and climatic change; child online safety; open standards; and managing Internet addresses.

The Forum  will be chaired by Tarek Kamel, Egyptian Minister of Communication and Information Technology.  Sha Zukang, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, will also be participating.  More than 1,000 participants from more than 100 countries are expected to attend, including high-ranking officials from several governments and international organizations, and important actors from the industry and civil society. Bob Khan, one of the pioneers of the Internet, and Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, are expected to be present.




For further information, please visit the website of the Internet Governance Forum at, as well as the host country website for the meeting at You can follow the Forum on Twitter, and on Youtube at The Forum will also be webcast live at

In Geneva, you may also contact Markus Kummer, Executive Coordinator, Secretariat of the Internet Governance Forum, tel.: +41 22 917 54 88, e-mail: [email protected], or Chengetai Masango, Programme and Technology Manager,  tel.: +41 22 917 5768, e-mail: [email protected].


Contacts for the UN Department of Public Information: Maher Nasser, Tel:  (+43-1) 26060-5676, e-mail: [email protected]; Franck Kuwonu, tel.  1-212-963-8264, e-mail: [email protected]; Thierry Potvin, tel.  +41 22 917 23 11, e-mail: [email protected].

In Cairo, Fethi Debbabi, tel: +202 27 959 816, Mobile: +20 18 144 7227, e-mail: [email protected]          

Journalists interested in attending the Forum should contact Dalia Farghal, United Nations Information Centre, Cairo, tel: +202 27 959 816, mobile: +20 12 230 5756, e-mail: [email protected]


Issued by the UN Department of Public Information