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High-Level Panel on Global Internet Cooperation and Governance Mechanisms Convenes in London

13 December 2013

LONDON – The Panel on Global Internet Cooperation and Governance Mechanisms—a diverse group of global stakeholders from government, civil society, the private sector, the technical community and international organizations—held their first meeting in London to discuss global Internet cooperation and governance mechanisms. The Panel expressed strong support for a multistakeholder approach to the future of Internet governance. The conversations held at the London meeting were facilitated by a team of Internet governance experts. The discussion will be taken online in the coming days at 1Net.org.

"The world relies on the Internet for economic, social, and political progress. It is imperative to ensure emerging issues are properly addressed in a global context, without individual governments or intergovernmental organizations developing their own solutions," said Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves and chair of the Panel.

"The success of the Internet is rooted in a distributed and bottom-up model, with openness and collaboration at its core," said Vint Cerf, vice-chair of the Panel. "The inaugural meeting of the Panel brought together a diverse set of perspectives on the future of the Internet, and through this diversity I'm confident we can chart a course to protect the core of the current ecosystem, while evolving its methods, accessibility, and universality to meet the opportunities and challenges of the future."

In keeping with its mission, the first meeting of the Panel addressed desirable properties for global Internet cooperation, administration and governance. The Panel will conduct two additional meetings in the coming months. The next meeting, scheduled for late February 2014 in Rancho Mirage, California, will be hosted by The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands. Sunnylands is partnering with the Panel in its substantive work. Following this meeting, a high-level draft report will then be released for open consultation. A final meeting will be hosted by the World Economic Forum in May 2014 in Dubai. During this meeting, the Panel will consider community feedback and discussions at forums including the Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance in Brazil and the Freedom Online Coalition's conference in Tallinn, Estonia. A high-level report will be published at the conclusion of the May meeting, and is expected to cover the following areas:

  • A brief overview of the current Internet governance ecosystem
  • Opportunities and challenges facing the current ecosystem
  • Desirable ecosystem properties including:
    • Ecosystem legitimacy
    • Effective and inclusive multi-interest and consensus-based system
    • Ensuring global participation including from the developing world
    • Co-existence with other governance systems (national and multi-lateral) ensuring a stable system that is not prone to attack, mismanagement, and manipulation

Panel members are working in their personal capacity. Members consist of:

  • 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
  • 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 Chehade, 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)
  • 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
  • Lynn St. Amour, President and CEO of the Internet Society; telecoms and IT executive
  • 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

London Panel Agenda

December 13

09:00 – 11:00


Expert presentations on Internet Cooperation and Governance to cover:

  • History of Internet cooperation and overview of current ecosystem
    Speaker: Vint Cerf
  • Nature and scope of global Internet governance
    Speaker: William Drake
  • Current system opportunities and challenges: ( this includes legitimacy and mandate challenges, challenges for global participation and inclusion)
    Speaker: David Gross & Bertrand de la Chapelle
11:00 – 11:15 Break
11:15 – 12:00 Backgrounder Q&A Session
12:00 – 13:00 Lunch
13:00 – 14:30

Developing Desirable System Properties

Panel is split into the following four proposed tracks, each moderated by an Internet Governance expert:

  • Desirable properties for ecosystem legitimacy
    Moderator: David Gross
  • Desirable properties for an effective and inclusive multi-interest & consensus-based system
    Moderator: Sally Wentworth
  • Desirable properties to ensure global participation including from developing world
    Moderator: William Drake
  • Desirable properties for co-existence with other governance systems (national and multi-lateral) ensuring a stable system that is not prone to attack, mismanagement, and manipulation.
    Moderator: Wolfgang Kleinwachter
14:30 – 14:45 Break
14:45 – 17:30

Joint Observations

Panel members, moderated by experts, coalesce around a set of overall joint observations on the desirable system properties

17:30 – 17:45 Break
17:45 – 18:30


Panel members discuss next steps, timelines/dates, communication rules and modus operandi for panel

About The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands

The Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands, which operates The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage, California, is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit operating entity. The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands hosts high-level retreats that address serious issues facing the nation and the world, including the recent official meeting between President Obama and President Xi of the People's Republic of China. In addition, Sunnylands offers programs through the Sunnylands Center & Gardens to educate the public about the history of Sunnylands, its architecture, art collections, cultural significance, and sustainable practices.


The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is an internationally organised, non-profit corporation that has responsibility for Internet Protocol (IP) address space allocation, protocol identifier assignment, generic (gTLD) and country code (ccTLD) Top-Level Domain name system management, and root server system management functions. As a private-public partnership, ICANN is dedicated to preserving the operational stability of the Internet; to promoting competition; to achieving broad representation of global Internet communities; and to developing policy appropriate to its mission through bottom-up, consensus-based processes. For more information please visit: http://www.icann.org.

About The World Economic Forum

The World Economic Forum is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging leaders in partnerships to shape global, regional and industry agendas.

Incorporated as a foundation in 1971 and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the World Economic Forum is impartial and not-for-profit; it is tied to no political, partisan or national interests (http://www.weforum.org).

Editor's Note: The Panel was previously referred to as the Panel on the Future of Global Internet Cooperation.

For more information on the Panel, please contact: Pearson Cummings at Pearson.Cummings@edelman.com.