Aug 2014 06

As the WSIS+10 Review has started, development issues, though initially intended to be at the centre of the WSIS agenda, have come to take a backseat. Instead, larger questions about who should govern the Internet, and how, have taken centre-stage. This plenary session at the APrIGF, organised by the Internet Democracy Project, will aim to draw lessons from our collective experiences of the past 11 years as part of the WSIS process on how we can move towards a future in which development issues become central in the WSIS once again. In particular, it will consider lessons learned from multistakeholder processes such as the NETmundial, the MPP and the WGEC on how to best get the Internet governance part of the WSIS agenda unstuck. Anja Kovacs is a panelist on the plenary.

In 2015 the WSIS is up for an overall review. Though strictly speaking the WSIS was supposed to be about ICTs and development, the Internet governance issues that are contained in it have obtained a growing role. In fact, during the multistakeholder WSIS+10 MPP meetings, the debate on many more ‘hard core’ development issues often seemed to be held hostage to the Internet governance debate, in that there was a reluctance to agree on new language for fear of the possible wider implications of such language.

The ICTs for development agenda continues, however, to be of great importance for many countries in our region. This then raises the question of how the development agenda contained in the WSIS can be revitalised. What shape do we want the WSIS agenda and process to take beyond 2015? What shape do the overall review in 2015 and its preparatory processes need to take for this to be possible? What lessons can we learn from both the content and form of discussions at the WSIS+10 MPP and the WGEC to take the Internet governance debate forward in a way that serves the Asia-Pacific region and ensures that the development debate can gain greater prominence again? What role can and do efforts such as the NETmundial, but also national Internet governance processes play in shaping this?

The session will reflect on our experiences of the past 11 years as part of the WSIS process to move forward towards a better future, and include a consideration of lessons learned from multistakeholder processes such as the NETmundial, the MPP and the WGEC on how to best get the IG part of the WSIS agenda unstuck.

Panel members are:

Mr. Adam Peake – GLOCOM

Dr. Anja Kovacs – Internet Democracy Project

Dr. Govind – NIXI

Mr. Hardeep Singh Puri – Bharatiya Janata Party and formerly Government of India

Mr. Paul Wilson – APNIC

Mr. Rajnesh Singh – ISOC

Moderator: Prof. Ang Peng Hwa – Nanyan Technological University, Singapore


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