The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) welcomed today the formation of the new Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG), a special advisory group to the United Nations (UN) Secretary General responsible for steering preparation of the annual Internet Governance Forum (IGF) – the open forum for inclusive policy dialogue on issues of Internet governance.
ICC Business Action to Support the Information Society (BASIS) Director and ICC Senior Policy Executive Elizabeth Thomas-Raynaud was nominated among the 21 new members to serve on the MAG that will work to prepare the 11th Internet Governance Forum (IGF).
Working with newly appointed IGF MAG Chair Lynn St. Amour, a total of 55 members make up the 2016 MAG, spanning all stakeholder groups and all regions, representing governments, civil society, the private sector and the technical community.
In this significant first year of the renewed IGF mandate, Ms Thomas Raynaud and BASIS nominee Iliya Bazlyankov, CIO of UNICART Bulgaria join newly appointed private sector representative Omar Mansoor Ansari from Afghanistan and 10 previously serving private sectors members of the MAG that have been renewed, providing perspectives from Latin America, Middle East and Africa, Asia, Europe and North America.
“I am pleased to be given this opportunity to bring the many diverse voices of business within the broad ICC membership to IGF preparation discussions,” said Ms Thomas-Raynaud. “The expertise and diverse experience of the private sector is recognised and valued for its contributions to this important forum. We look forward to working with others on the MAG to expand participation in the IGF from developing countries.”
The IGF was established to fulfil one of the commitments laid down by the second World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), which took place in Tunis in 2005. The inaugural meeting of the IGF took place in Athens in 2006 and the forum has been held in different countries every year since. After 10 years, the UN General Assembly conducted a review of the WSIS process concluding in a high-level meeting in December 2015. The IGF was renewed for a mandate of 10 years, recognising its contribution as a unique opportunity for all stakeholders to discuss issues of crucial importance to the global development of the Internet.
The first face-to-face meeting of the IGF MAG will take place on 4-6 April in Geneva to kick off preparations for the 11th IGF to be hosted by Mexico in the final quarter of 2016. The date and venue of the 11th IGF remain to be confirmed.
ICC BASIS serves as the voice of global business in the international dialogue that has emerged on how information and communication technologies can better serve as engines of sustainable development. While a special project of ICC, BASIS advocates global policy positions developed by the ICC Commission on Digital Economy and the Commission Chair serves as an ex-officio member of the ICC BASIS Officers.