CCIA Helps IGF Bring Internet Policy Issues Center Stage at Upcoming Bali Meeting

BY Ali Sternburg
October 15, 2013

CCIA and our IDEA initiative are attending the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Bali, Indonesia next week (I’m attending for both) and we’re involved in several of the events taking place there as either the organiser, panellist or moderator. The IGF is a key Internet policy meeting, attracting up to 3,000 representatives from government, civil society and business coming together with influential members of ICANN, UNESCO, WIPO, the World Bank and other organisations that play a direct and global role in the Internet (you can browse the participants list here). Just as we did in 2012, we’ve been active participants in every stage of the organisation of this year’s IGF, with significant involvement dating back to Spring 2013.

While the eight sessions I’ll be participating in represent just a fraction of the total over October 22-25 (I encourage you to check out the full schedule online), the number of requests for us to participate and their subject-matter diversity demonstrate the visibility and regard CCIA enjoys in international Internet policy across all stakeholder groups and how we are ensuring that our members are well-represented in key policy discussions that affect them.

We’re particularly pleased that the IGF took a workshop proposal we submitted with the Government of Sweden and “upgraded” it into one of only three main conference-wide thematic sessions (see summary info here; more detailed info here). It will be particularly significant as it looks at how to connect the UN’s ICT agenda – the WSIS outcomes – to the overall Millennium Development Goals that are a head-of-state level priority and a lens through which the bulk of the UN’s work on fostering a better life for billions of people around the world is measured. Only two days before, the General Assembly will discuss how to review the WSIS process leading to its 10th anniversary in 2015, a process that CCIA has been engaged in with member-states in Geneva, Washington and Brussels for almost two years now.

CCIA is also co-sponsoring an Oxford-style debate on copyright policy (a familiar theme for anyone who knows about the CCIA-endorsed Copyright for Creativity initiative in Europe).  I’ll also be participating in sessions on fair trade and taxation of virtual goods; a second main thematic session, this on human rights and freedom of expression;  and how small and medium-sized enterprises are leveraging the Internet to reach more customers and markets around the world which also features CCIA member eBay.  I have also been asked to participate in a focus session on surveillance which will undoubtedly be well attended. Additional IGF topics include sexual rights, net neutrality, Internet intermediary liability and a host of other issues.

The IGF provides for remote participation, including webcasting of many sessions. We hope you’ll join the discussion or at least listen in. The URLs for each workshop will be posted on 20th October; we’ll follow up this post with details of each session we’re participating in so you can tune in.

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