An Internet Governance Forum is being established to promote awareness of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) amongst policy makers and stakeholders from industry, civil society, government, parliaments and academia in Commonwealth member countries.
The organisers believe that issues and discussions related to Internet Governance need to be addressed at a Commonwealth level to encourage greater participation from Commonwealth member states, including developing countries, with a view to directly sharing and disseminating best practice, innovation and technical or policy solutions across the range of Commonwealth countries.
In particular the Commonwealth Internet Governance Forum will:
- establish IGF links around the Commonwealth with the particular aim of securing the engagement of those Commonwealth member countries which have not previously participated in the global IGF.
- foster links between Commonwealth national and regional IGFs and the sharing of best practice between them.
The purpose of the Commonwealth Open Session at the IGF in Sharm el Sheikh
The preliminary objectives (subject to further consultation amongst Commonwealth stakeholders) of the Commonwealth Open Session in Sharm el Sheikh are:
- to provide a forum for stakeholders from Commonwealth member countries to share and disseminate information about Internet initiatives relevant to the IGF overarching themes, with particular emphasis on capacity building;
- to exchange views on the opportunity provided by the global IGF to formulate Commonwealth-wide policies, best practice and position papers at the IGF in Sharm El Sheikh and subsequently in the run up to the Vilnius IGF in 2010;
- to formulate a Commonwealth position on the future of the IGF.
Format of the Open Session
The workshop structure will likely comprise a series of presentations and interactive panel discussions, chaired by Nick Thorne and Joe Tabone.
Related Commonwealth activity in Sharm el Sheikh:
It is proposed to have a Commonwealth information stand promoting the Commonwealth IGF at the IGF village.
- Increased participation by stakeholders from Commonwealth member countries (including developing countries) in the 2009 Internet Governance Forum in Sharm el Sheikh.
- Informed multi-stakeholder discussion on issues relating to Internet governance which will assist Commonwealth member countries in the development of their policy-making process, initiatives, resources and skills.
- Promotion within the Commonwealth of active national and regional Internet governance initiatives and partnerships for sharing expertise, resources and best practice.
- An agreed Commonwealth position on the future of the IGF after 2010.
Target audience for the Open Session
Internet governance experts and practitioners from industry, academia, civil society, governments and parliamentarians from the following Commonwealth member countries:
Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Botswana, Brunei Darussalam, Cameroon, Canada, Cyprus, Dominica, Fiji, The Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Swaziland, Tonga, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Kingdom, Vanuatu and Zambia.