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IGF 2021 Parliamentary Track


In recent years, the IGF has sought to strengthen the parliamentary dimension of the forum by facilitating 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. Participants in the 2019 and 2020 parliamentary roundtables recommended, among other issues, that national parliaments cooperate and exchange good practices on dealing with digital policy issues. 

At the 16th IGF, a parliamentary track will take place on 7–8 December 2021 on the theme Legislative approaches for a user-centric digital space. Building on previous experiences and in the spirit of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly Resolution A/RES/74/304, the event will be jointly organised by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the lower chamber of the Polish parliament, the Sejm. Support will also be provided by the Department of Digital Policy in the Chancellery of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland, acting as co-facilitator and overall coordinator of the IGF 2021 from the Host Country’s side. 

In the lead-up to IGF 2021, a series of preparatory sessions will be held online allowing Members of Parliaments to become familiar with the IGF and the broader Internet governance ecosystem and to engage in dialogue and exchanges of experiences on key digital policy issues. The main points emerging from these discussions will form the basis for the output document from the parliamentary track at IGF 2021. 

Key topics

Parliamentarians are invited to exchange views and share good practices on tackling three key digital policy challenges:

  • DATA | Privacy rights and legitimate uses of personal data
  • CONTENT POLICY | Balancing freedom of speech and the fight against harmful content: the role of Internet platforms
  • AI GOVERNANCE | Automated decision-making and human-centric approaches

More details on these topics are available in the parliamentary track's concept note.

Online preparatory sessions

A series of online preparatory sessions will take place between September and November 2021.

  • 23 September, 12:00 – 14:00 UTC | The Internet governance ecosystem   
  • 7 October, 13:00 – 14:30 UTC | Privacy rights and legitimate uses of personal data
  • 21 October, 15:00 – 16:30 UTC | Balancing freedom of speech and the fight against harmful content: the role of Internet platforms        
  • 4 November, 12:00 – 13:30 UTC | AI governance: automated decision-making and human-centric approaches         
  • 18 November, 13:00 – 14:30 UTC | Meet the Internet Governance Forum 

These sessions will inform the parliamentary outcome document from IGF 2021.

Members of parliaments can register for the online preparatory sessions via this form. 

Parliamentary sessions at IGF 2021

During a dedicated track on 7–8 December, parliamentarians will continue the debates on the key topics and convene in a parliamentary roundtable. They are also invited to actively participate in all other IGF 2021 sessions and contribute their views and experiences to the discussions.

  • 7 December, 14:00 – 15:30 CET* | Parliamentary session 1: Privacy rights and legitimate uses of personal data
  • 7 December, 16:15 – 17:15 CET | IGF 2021 parliamentary roundtable
  • 8 December, 09:30 – 11:00 CET | Parliamentary session 2: Balancing freedom of speech and the fight against harmful content – the role of Internet platforms
  • 8 December, 11:30 – 13:00 CET | Parliamentary session 3: AI governance – Automated decision-making and human-centric approaches

Registration for the IGF 2021 meeting is mandatory, regardless of whether parliamentarians intend to travel to Katowice or participate online.

Travel support 

Limited funds are available to support the participation of several parliamentarians from developing countries in IGF 2021 in Katowice. Travel support is managed by the United Nations Department for Economic and Social Affairs. 

Applications for travel support must be submitted by 30 September 2021

Details about eligibility criteria and the application process are available in this document

Documents & further information

Invitation (also in FR and ES)

IGF 2021 parliamentary track concept note & provisional programme (also in FR and ES)

Practical information for the parliamentary track (also in FR and ES)

Any questions related to the parliamentary track can be addressed to parliamentarytrack[at]


*Times are in CET (UTC+1)


Contact Information

United Nations
Secretariat of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF)

Villa Le Bocage
Palais des Nations,
CH-1211 Geneva 10

igf [at] un [dot] org
+41 (0) 229 173 411