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The Panel on Global Internet Cooperation and Governance Mechanisms—a global Panel of prominent stakeholders from diverse organizations and governments—today released key recommendations on how to evolve the Internet governance (IG) ecosystem to accommodate global needs for collaboration, interconnectivity and Internet growth. The report also presents a roadmap and timeline for the future management of the Internet.
The report follows the Panel's third and final meeting, hosted by the World Economic Forum in Dubai on 4-5 May. It adopts the IG principles established at NETmundial, the recent Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance in São Paulo, Brazil. The Panel believes these principles— human rights, culture and linguistic diversity, security and stability, and open unfragmented space, among others—are fundamental to implementing a 21st century model of Internet governance.
"It has been an honor to serve as the chair of this distinguished Panel, representing a diverse group of global stakeholders from government, civil society, the private sector, the technical community and international organizations," said Toomas Hendrik Ilves, President of Estonia and chairman of the Panel. "We intend for the Panel's work to contribute to the global discussion on how to preserve freedom of expression of the Internet."
For the past six months, the Panel has worked to characterize key components for promoting a collaborative, decentralized IG ecosystem—one that can effectively meet the burgeoning needs and interests of Internet users globally, while ensuring networks' security and stability. The Panel identified needed Enablers—including forums and dialogues, expert communities and toolkits—to foster communication, legitimacy and effectiveness throughout the IG process, which the Panel defined in four elements: issue identification, solution mapping, solution formulation and solution implementation.
"The Internet is an indispensable resource for its 3 billion users all around the world. Ensuring that it remains open and interoperable and that decision-making processes are carried out with the involvement of all stakeholders is critical to the future of the Internet and its continued success," said Vint Cerf, vice-chair of the Panel.
"There is broad interest in how the Internet will be governed and by whom," said ICANN's President and CEO Fadi Chehadé. "The discussions at NETmundial reaffirmed the support and desire for a multistakeholder model of governance and served as an inspiration for the Panel's recommendations."
To achieve a collaborative, decentralized IG ecosystem, the Panel recommends next steps mapped against a three-year timeline that include coalescing and supporting broad multistakeholder alliances; developing new and strengthening existing IG mechanisms; and progressing collaborative decision-making. Recognizing the evolving IG dialogue and process, the Panel also identified specific additional questions that will need answers moving forward, and encouraged the global community to weigh in with its responses.
The Panel was convened by ICANN and the World Economic Forum (WEF), with assistance from The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands. It met during a series of virtual and in-person meetings between November 2013 to May 2014 in London, Rancho Mirage, Calif., and Dubai. The Panel encourages the global community to refine its roadmap through ongoing discussions and forums, including the upcoming Global Commission on Internet Governance.
"In the spirit of WEF's global citizenship, it has been important to partner with the Panel on the timely and momentous issue of Internet governance," said Alan Marcus, senior director and head of Information Technology and Telecommunications Industries at the WEF. "The Internet will continue to grow exponentially in the years to come, and it will be necessary to chart a path forward that allows for equitable opportunity for current and future users."
Members of The Panel on Global Internet Cooperation and Governance Mechanisms include:
- Mohamed Al Ghanim, Founder and Director General of the UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority; former Vice-Chair, UAE Information and Communications Technology Fund; Chairman of WCIT-12
- Virgilio Fernandes Almeida, Member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences; Chair of Internet Steering Committee; National Secretary for Information Technology Policies
- Dorothy Attwood, Senior Vice President of Global Public Policy, Walt Disney Company
- Mitchell Baker, Chair, Mozilla Foundation; Chair and former CEO, Mozilla Corporation
- Kathy Brown, President and CEO, Internet Society
- Francesco Caio, CEO of Avio; former CEO, Cable and Wireless and Vodafone Italia; Founder of Netscalibur; broadband advisor in UK and Italy; Government Commissioner for Digital Agenda
- Vint Cerf, Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist for Google; former Chairman, ICANN; Co-Founder of the Internet Society
- Fadi Chehadé, CEO and President of ICANN; Founder of Rosetta Net; technology executive
- Nitin Desai, Indian economist and diplomat; former UN Undersecretary General; convener of Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG)
- Anriette Esterhuysen, Executive Director, Association for Progressive Communications
- Byron Holland, President and CEO of the Canadian Internet Registration Authority
- Toomas Hendrik Ilves, President of Estonia; former diplomat and journalist; former Minister of Foreign Affairs; former Member of the European Parliament
- Ivo Ivanovski, Minister of Information Society and Administration, Macedonia; Commissioner to the UN Broadband Commission for Digital Development
- Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe; former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Norway
- Omobola Johnson, Minister of Communication Technology of Nigeria
- Olaf Kolkman, Director of NLnet Labs; "Evangineer" of the Open Internet; former Chair of the Internet Architecture Board
- Frank La Rue, labor and human rights lawyer; UN Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression; Founder, Center for Legal Action for Human Rights (CALDH)
- Robert M. McDowell, former U.S. Federal Communications Commissioner; Visiting Fellow, Hudson Institute's Center for Economics of the Internet
- Andile Ngcaba, Chairman and Founder, Convergence Partners; Executive Chairman, Dimension Data Middle East and Africa; former South African Government Director General of Communications
- Liu Qingfeng, CEO and President of iFLYTEK; Director of National Speech & Language Engineering Laboratory of China; Member of Interactive Technology Standards working group
- Christoph Steck, Director Public Policy & Internet, Telefonica
- Jimmy Wales, Founder and Promoter of Wikipedia; Member of the Board of Trustees of Wikimedia Foundation
- Won-Pyo Hong, President, Media Solution Center, Samsung Electronics