Press Releases

         15 November 2004

    United Nations Establishes Working Group on Internet Governance

    NEW YORK, 11 November (Working Group on Internet Governance) -- Secretary-General Kofi Annan announced today the establishment of the Working Group on Internet Governance. The Working Group will prepare the ground for a decision on this issue by the second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society, to be held in Tunis in November 2005.

    The Secretary-General was requested to establish a working group on Internet governance by the first phase of the World Summit on the Information Society held in Geneva in December 2003. The task of this Working Group is to organize an open dialogue on Internet Governance, among all stakeholders, and to bring recommendations on this subject to the second phase of the Summit.

    The two documents adopted by the Geneva Summit -- the Declaration of Principles and the Plan of Action -- asked the Working Group “to investigate and make proposals for action, as appropriate, on the governance of the Internet by 2005”. The Group was requested to:

    -- Develop a working definition of Internet governance;

    -- Identify the public policy issues that are relevant to Internet governance; and

    -- Develop a common understanding of the respective roles and responsibilities of governments, international organizations and other forums, as well as the private sector and civil society from both developing and developed countries.

    The Working Group on Internet Governance will be chaired by Nitin Desai, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General for the World Summit. It includes 40 members from governments, private sector and civil society, representing all regions (see the list below).

    “The Working Group is not a negotiating forum”, said Mr. Desai. “Its purpose is to facilitate the negotiations that will take place in Tunis. We come into this process as facilitators, and will strive to establish a dialogue of good faith among all participants.”

    The two Summit documents call for an “open and inclusive” process and “a mechanism for the full and active participation of governments, the private sector and civil society from both developing and developed countries, involving relevant intergovernmental and international organizations and forums”. On the basis of these guidelines, the Working Group will hold regular consultations and will seek to make the best possible use of electronic working methods, including online consultations.

    The first meeting of the Working Group is scheduled to take place in Geneva from 23 to 25 November. On 24 November, the meeting will be held in an open format, allowing all governments and other stakeholders to interact with the Working Group.

    “There is a general convergence of views on the need to treat Internet governance from a broad perspective and to build on what has been done elsewhere”, said Markus Kummer, Executive Coordinator of the United Nations secretariat of the Working Group. “Issues that we expect to address include the management of Internet resources, network security, cyber-crime, spam and multilingualism.”

    The report of the Working Group is expected to be submitted to the Secretary-General in July 2005 and will be made available to the WSIS second phase in Tunis.

    Contact: in New York, Edoardo Bellando, tel.: (212) 963-8275, e-mail:; in Geneva, Markus Kummer, tel.: +41 0 22 917 54 88, e-mail: Web sites:  and

    List of Members

    Chairman: Nitin Desai.


    -- Abdullah Al-Darrab, Deputy Governor of Technical Affairs, ICT Commission of Saudi Arabia;

    -- Carlos Alfonso, Technical Director, RIT, Rio de Janeiro;

    -- Peng Hwa Ang, Dean, School of Communication, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore;

    -- Karen Banks, Director, GreenNet, Association for Progressive Communications, London;

    -- Faryel Beji, President and CEO, Tunisian Internet Agency;

    -- Vittorio Bertola, ICANN at-large Advisory Committee, Turin;

    -- José Alexandre Bicalho, Member, Brazilian Internet Steering Committee; Advisor, Board of Directors, National Telecommunications Agency (Anatel);

    -- Kangsik Cheon, Chief Operating Officer, International Business Development, Netpia, Seoul;

    -- Trevor Clarke, Permanent Representative of Barbados to the United Nations in Geneva;

    -- Avri Doria, Technical Consultant, Providence, Rhode Island;

    -- William Drake, Senior Associate, International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development, Geneva; Chairman, Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility;

    -- Raúl Echeberría, Executive Director, LACNIC, Montevideo;

    -- Dev Erriah, Chairman, ICT Authority of Mauritius;

    -- Baher Esmat, Telecom Planning Manager, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Egypt;

    -- Mark Esseboom, Director, Strategy and International Affairs, Directorate General for Telecom and Post, Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Netherlands;

    -- Juan Fernandez, Coordinator, Commission of Electronic Commerce, Cuba;

    -- Ayesha Hassan, Senior Policy Manager for E-Business, IT and Telecoms, International Chamber of Commerce, Paris;

    -- Qiheng Hu, Adviser, Science and Technology Commission, Ministry of Information Industry, China; former Vice-President, Chinese Academy of Sciences;

    -- Willy Jensen, Director, Norwegian Post and Telecom Authority;

    -- Wolfgang Kleinwächter, Professor, International Communication Policy and Regulation, University of Aarhus;

    -- Jovan Kurbalija, Director, DiploFoundation, Geneva;

    -- Iosif Charles Legrand, Researcher, California Institute of Technology and CERN, Geneva;

    -- Donald MacLean, Director, MacLean Consulting, Ottawa;

    -- Allen Miller, Executive Director, World Information Technology and Services Alliance, Arlington, Virginia;

    -- Juan Carlos Moreno Solines, Executive Director, Gobierno Digital, Quito;

    -- Jacqueline A. Morris, Consultant, Port of Spain;

    -- Olivier Nana Nzépa, Coordinator, Africa Civil Society, Yaoundé;

    -- Alejandro Pisanty, Director, Computing Academic Services, Universidad Autonoma de Mexico;

    -- Khalilullah Qazi, Permanent Mission of Pakistan to the United Nations in Geneva;

    -- Rajashekar Ramaraj, Managing Director, Sify Limited, Chennai;

    -- Masaaki Sakamaki, Director, Computer Communications Division, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Japan;

    -- Joseph Sarr, President, NTIC Commission, Dakar Regional Council;

    -- Peimann Seadat, Permanent Mission of Iran to the United Nations in Geneva;

    -- Charles Sha’ban, IT Manager, Talal Abu- Ghazaleh International, Amman;

    -- Lyndall Shope-Mafole, Chairperson, Presidential National Commission on Information Society and Development, South Africa;

    -- Waudo Siganga, Chairman, Computer Society of Kenya;

    -- Mikhail Vladimirovich Yakushev, Director, Legal Support Department, Ministry of Information Technology and Communications, Russian Federation;

    -- Peter Zangl, Deputy Director-General, Information Society Directorate General, European Commission, Brussels; and

    -- Jean-Paul Zens, Director, Media and Telecom Department, Ministry of State, Luxembourg.

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