Civil society statement on the 2014 Internet Governance Forum

by Anja Kovacs

The Internet Democracy Project has joined forces with a range of civil society organisations and individuals from across the world to release, during the Internet Governance Forum, the following statement on the Internet Governance Forum, related processes and human rights and development. The complete list of signatories to the statement can be found here.

We, the undersigned below reaffirm that human rights and sustainable development are underlying concerns for all Internet governance processes and mechanisms. At this 2014 IGF in Istanbul we wish in particular to:

  • Call for the establishment of the IGF as a multistakeholder forum within the framework of the United Nations with an open-ended mandate, that should be reformed and strengthened.

  • Call for more thorough and timely review of the IGF post-Istanbul (rather than waiting until early 2015) in order to look at potential changes that could lead to its further strengthening.

  • Support the Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of the Internet, known as NETMundial, and its recommendations for the IGF.

  • Commend the IGF for responding to the NETmundial roadmap set in its outcome document by, for example, focusing on net neutrality, and ask the MAG, UNDESA and Brazil – the host of the 2015 IGF – to build on this roadmap, and to build upon the regional and national IGFs as core opportunities that feed into this process.

  • Call for the opening up of the WSIS+10 review modalities to ensure that stakeholders’ interests and views are heard and taken into account, by way of a more structured consultation process and allowing civil society to appoint its own representatives and speakers.

  • Express serious concern about the shrinking space for freedom of expression and access to information in Turkey, especially in relation to Internet filtering and blocking of content. Therefore we welcome the initiative of the Internet Ungovernance Forum and Turkish civil society organizations to address this threat to human rights.