14 June 2005

Working Group on Internet Governance to Meet in Geneva,  14 - 17 June

Focus on Recommendations for Action, Adequacy of Internet Arrangements

(Reissued as received.)

GENEVA, 13 June (UN Information Service) -- The Working Group on Internet Governance will hold its fourth meeting from 14 to 17 June, with open consultations taking place on 14 June at the International Telecommunication Union headquarters in Geneva.

The discussions will focus on proposals on how to improve current Internet governance arrangements.

To advance the discussion, the Working Group developed a questionnaire, posted on its web site (www.wgig.org) to solicit input from all interested parties. Such input will form the basis for developing policy recommendations and proposals for action, in accordance with the Group’s mandate. The Working Group will finalize its report at a closed meeting from 15 to 17 June at a retreat outside Geneva, taking into account the responses to the questionnaire and the discussion at the open consultation of 14 June.

At its meeting, the Working Group will examine the desirability and feasibility of creating a new space for a dialogue on public policy issues related to the Internet. The current governance setup includes many public and private sector arrangements dealing with different aspects of Internet governance, but there is no forum in which the global community can address broad public policy issues or emerging issues that touch on more than a governance aspect and affect more than one institution.

Also to be discussed is the oversight of the management of the Internets logical infrastructure, including the domain name system, the Internet Protocol addresses and the root server system. This could involve examining the desirability and feasibility of new oversight arrangements.

In addition, the Working Group will address ways to improve the coordination among all organizations and institutions dealing with Internet issues, in terms of their managerial functions, rather than in terms of intergovernmental cooperation or involvement of all interested parties.

Finally, the Working Group will address how best to fit national and global Internet arrangements. The Group feels that international coordination needs to build on policy coordination at the national level: global Internet governance can only be effective if there is coherence with national policies.

The 14 June open consultations will be webcast and the discussions will be made available live in a real-time transcription on the www.wgig.org website.

The Working Group will present its final report on 18 July, to be considered at the Tunis phase of the World Summit on the Information Society in November.

The Working Group was established at the request of the United Nations Member States at the first phase of the World Summit. The 40 members of the Working Group, appointed by Secretary-General Kofi Annan last November, serve in their personal capacity and come from all the world’s regions, as well as from different sectors -- governments, the private sector and civil society. The Group’s Chairman, Nitin Desai, is Special Adviser to the Secretary-General for the World Summit on the Information Society.

The Working Group is not a negotiating body, but 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 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 is at: www.wgig.org.

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