Fulfilling the Mandate of the IGF

15 November 2007 - A Workshop on Internet Governance Principles in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


The Tunis Agenda for the Information Society mandates the IGF to: discuss public policy issues; facilitate discourse between bodies dealing with cross-cutting international public policies and discuss issues that do not fall within the scope of any existing body; interface with appropriate intergovernmental organizations and other institutions on matters under their purview; facilitate the exchange of information and best practices, and in this regard make full use of the expertise of the academic, scientific and technical communities; advise all stakeholders on increasing the Internet’s availability and affordability in the developing world; strengthen and enhance multistakeholder engagement in existing and future Internet Governance mechanisms; identify emerging issues, bring them to the attention of the relevant bodies and the general public, and, where appropriate, make recommendations; contribute to capacity-building; promote and assess, on an ongoing basis, the embodiment of WSIS principles in Internet governance processes; discuss critical Internet resources; help to find solutions to the issues arising from the use and misuse of the Internet; and publish its proceedings.

It could be argued that the IGF is contributing to the realization of some of these objectives. However, other items in the list are more difficult to promote solely through annual conferences comprising main sessions with panels of speakers and an assortment of workshops. Accordingly, this workshop will consider what additional steps, if any, could be taken on a consensual, multistakeholder basis to help the IGF community achieve the mandate. In particular, the workshop will consider:

1. The thinking behind the formulation of the mandate, which derives from the WGIG Report and the discussions held during Prep-Com 3 of the WSIS Tunis phase;

2. Whether some or all of the functions enumerated in the mandate remain important, value-adding, activities that are not being performed elsewhere, would benefit the global community, and are uniquely suited to the IGF;

3. Operationally practical steps that could be pursued on a consensual, multistakeholder basis by the IGF community in order to perform those functions;

4. Related current trends and challenges in the IGF’s activities.

When and where
15th November 2007, 08:30 am - 10:00 am, Pardo I
The Civil Society - Internet Governance Caucus is the primary organiser of this workshop. The Internet Governance Caucus comprises a diverse range of individual and organizational civil society actors who are committed to the promotion of global public interest objectives in Internet governance decision-making.

The caucus was created in early 2003 and played a leading role on Internet governance issues for the broad civil society coalition that participated in the WSIS process. Some of its members were early proponents of an IGF and active participants in the WGIG, and in the current IGF Advisory Group. The caucus strongly supported the WGIG's proposal of an IGF, as well as the mandate given to it by the Tunis Agenda.

The Government of Jamaica and the Global Telecentres Alliance are the other co-sponsors for the workshop.


William Drake (Moderator)

William J. Drake is Director of the Project on the Information Revolution and Global Governance in the Program for the Study of International Organization(s) at the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva, Switzerland. In addition, he is, inter alia, co-editor of the MIT Press book series, The Information Revolution and Global Politics; a member of the Steering Committee of the Global Internet Governance Academic Network (GigaNet); a member of the High-Level Group of Advisors for the UN Global Alliance for ICT and Development; and a former member of the UN Working Group on Internet Governance.

Karen Banks

Karen Banks is the Network Development Manager for the Association for Progressive Communications; an international networked organisation (established in 1990) that focuses on the use of information and communication technologies by civil society for social justice and development. She is a Director of GreenNet, a small non-profit ISP in London, and founding member of the Association For Progressive Communications.

Ayesha Hassan

Ayesha Hassan is Senior Policy Manager for E-Business, IT and Telecoms, Executive in charge of ICT policy at ICC International Secretariat, Paris. She manages ICC's Commission on E-Business, IT and Telecoms. She is in charge of ICC’s initiative, Business Action to Support the Information Society (BASIS). She managed the Coordinating Committee of Business Interlocutors (CCBI), a vehicle mobilizing and coordinating the involvement of the worldwide business community in the process leading to the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Summits of 2003 and 2005.

Everton Frask Lucero

Everton Lucero holds the position of Head of the Science and Technology Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Brazil. At this position, he is responsible, among other things, for coordinating governmental positions on issues related to Information Society. Earlier, he was the Chief International Advisor to the Minister of Science and Technology.

Matthew Shears

Matthew Shears is the Director, Public Policy of Internet Society. He has extensive experience in public policy, advocacy, communications, business development and strategy in both the public and private sectors. After working as a standards and market entry adviser at the US Mission to the EU in Brussels, he worked as AT&T’s EMEA Regional Director for Public Affairs, drove public affairs in Europe for the Seattle-based satellite Internet start-up Teledesic, and then moved to Cisco, where he created the EMEA Government Affairs team.

Parminder Jeet Singh

Parminder Jeet Singh is an Executive Director of IT for Change. Parminder spent nearly a decade in government, where he initiated some innovative e-governance projects. During this time, in 2001, he co-authored the book, “Government@Net: E-governance opportunities for India” (Sage Publications). Subsequently, he has worked with many ICTD field projects, as well as in policy research and advocacy related to information society issues.

Nicholas Thorne

Nicholas Thorne is the United Kingdom’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva. He has served in Geneva since November 2003. Prior to that he has served in the UK Mission to the UN in New York since 1995; first as Counsellor Finance and then, since 1998, as an elected member of the UN Advisory Committee dealing with Management and Reform issues (ACABQ).