23 February 2005

Working Group on Internet Governance Discusses Internet Protocol Addresses, Root Server Systems, Submits Preliminary Report

(Reissued as received.)

GENEVA, 22 February (UN Information Service) -- The Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG), which met at the United Nations Office at Geneva from 14 to 18 February, discussed Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, administration of the Internet Root Server system and other issues, and completed its preliminary report.

The Working Group, which held its first meetings in Geneva in November 2004, decided on a preliminary draft structure for its report, identified public policy issues and set out a time frame for its work. The WGIG also moved closer to a common understanding of a working definition on Internet governance.

The report will be submitted to the second Preparatory Committee session of the Tunis phase of the World Summit on the Information Society, which is meeting at the United Nations in Geneva from 17 to 25 February.

On 15 and 16 February, the Working Group opened consultations among the broader Internet community to seek an understanding of and guidance on the definition of Internet governance, and the best ways to go forward. 

Participants began addressing the numerous working papers that form the basis of discussions, considering the issues of Internet names and IP addresses and administration of the Root Server system. The issue papers, available at www.wgig.org/working-papers.html, are the first of a series of "draft working papers" prepared by members of the Working Group and reflecting the preliminary findings of various drafting teams.  The list of topics was developed at the first meeting of the Working Group last November.

The consultations provided a basis for discussions of its future work, which was reflected in the Working Group’s preliminary report, which will be distributed to the Preparatory Committee for the World Summit on 21 February for discussion on 24 February.

The final report of the Working Group is expected to be submitted to the Secretary-General in July, to be considered at the Tunis Summit in November.

Two more meetings are planned in April and June. The work leading up to these meetings will be devoted towards assessing the adequacy of current Internet governance arrangements measured against the principles set out in the documents adopted at the first phase of the World Summit on the Information Society in Geneva in 2003. The final meeting will focus on developing "proposals for action, as appropriate, on the governance of the Internet", as called for by the Geneva documents.

The work of the WGIG will be open, transparent and inclusive, allowing for online comments and aiming to make best possible use of modern information and communication technologies, in general, and the Internet, in particular. All meetings will be held in conjunction with consultations open to all stakeholders.

The WGIG sees itself not as a negotiating body, but as a working group with the task of preparing the ground for the negotiations to be held in the framework of the World Summit on the Information Society.

For more information, please contact Markus Kummer, Executive Coordinator, Secretariat of the Working Group, e-mail: mkummer@unog.ch, tel.: +41(0) 22 917 54 88.  Complete information about the Group's purpose, meetings, list of members and documents can be found at: www.wgig.org.

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