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Volume 27, Issue 3

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May 8, 2014

Business applauds NETmundial for advancing multistakeholder Internet Governance

Paris – ICC BASIS (Business Action to Support the Information Society) has congratulated Brazil on the recently concluded NETmundial meeting and its contribution to the discussion of principles and values relating to the evolution of Internet governance processes. While consensus was not reached on all issues discussed at the meeting among stakeholders, spirited discussion and collaborative drafting resulted in a breadth of opinions as well as an outcomes document that will serve as a useful input to other forums and meetings addressing governance principles, issues, and processes. Business was pleased that the outcomes document not only reinforced the importance of meaningful multistakeholder participation in existing Internet governance processes and forums, but that it also reaffirmed the importance and value of the annual, UN-linked Internet Governance Forum (IGF).

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and its BASIS initiative have also praised NETmundial for aiding further consensus and dialogue on central issues being addressed at multiple, global forums, including the protection of the Internet as a vehicle of innovation and economic growth, respect for the rule of law, the importance of maintaining cross-border and global flows of information, and the vital importance of protecting and advancing the multistakeholder model in policy discussions.

“The success of NETmundial should not be measured in declarations or new commitments, but in how it helps to advance the multistakeholder model and set in motion talks that will add value to existing processes,” said Joe Alhadeff, Chair, ICC Commission on the Digital Economy. He added: “The meeting has reinforced the importance and validity of existing mechanisms, including the Internet Governance Forum, and the need for constructive dialogue on how to strengthen them.”

Despite divergent views on the content of a proposed roadmap for the evolution of Internet governance, business was gratified to see the importance placed on the orderly transition of the NTIA functions related to IANA. This was another important topic in the roadmap and business was encouraged by inclusion of all the NTIA operational conditions that must be met in this regard, including the need for a multistakeholder successor.

Voices not always heard in the global Internet governance debate were given a platform to join discussions that will directly influence policy development. Less developed economies, as well as the small business community and global citizens, were able to take advantage of opportunities to participate in the dialogue, both onsite, and via remote participation.

Alhadeff added: “ICC BASIS recognizes that NETmundial marked an important moment in the discussion of Internet governance, which has helped drive multistakeholder participation and encouraged greater geographic reach for Internet policy discussions.”

As an active participant in the discussions, ICC BASIS represented the international business community at NETmundial, working within its membership and with other global businesses and organizations, to contribute to dialogue that will feed into Internet governance meetings going forward, as appropriate.